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Sources Say: Minimum-wage effort shortchanges workers

Even those who support the $15 minimum wage have trouble paying it.

Working America, an AFL-CIO affiliated advocacy organization, is advertising on Craigs-list for workers to circulate petitions for a proposed ballot measure to raise the Oregon minimum wage to $15 an hour. But the online ad for “Summer and Full-Time Campaign Jobs to Raise the Wage” says the positions are paying only $12.25 an hour.

Even more ironically, the ad includes a quote from President Obama that advocates have been using to justify raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour: “No one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.”

Although the ad promises bonuses in addition to the $12.25 an hour wage, it does not say what they are.

Another reason for a raise

USA Today reports that Oregon is the second-worst state in which to make a living.

In statistics compiled by the financial website www.MoneyRates.com, Oregon dropped 11 places in the past year as the national economic recovery bypasses the state. According to the figures, the state’s high cost of living coupled with average wages puts the squeeze on Oregonians’ wallets. The average income is $46,850, slightly higher than the national average, with an average tax bill of $3,981.50. But the cost-of-living index in the Beaver State is 30 percent above the national average.

Not only that, www.MoneyRates.com says, Oregon has 4.2 workplace safety incidents per 100 workers, one of the highest rates in the nation.

But hey, we’re still better than Hawaii, the worst in the rankings.

Subpoena help is adding up

The state of Oregon has retained a records management company to help format and track records requested by federal prosecutors investigating the influence-peddling allegations against former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, according to the Oregon Capital Insider.

Litigation Information Management, so far, has received $115,918.98 for its services, according to Attorney General office spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson. They include helping respond to 11 subpoenas for records from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The vendor is helping us format and track every responsive document,” Edmunson wrote in an email to the Insider last week. “The documents can come in various formats, such as word documents, emails, audio recordings, website traffic, hard drives, etc. The vendor also helps us ensure that we have removed duplications of any files.”

The Oregon Capital Insider is a subscription newsletter published by the Pamplin Media Group and the EO (East Oregonian) Media Group. For more information, visit: www.oregoncapitalinsider.com.

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