Oregon now has highest minimum wage in country

The bill will raise the minimum wage in steps until 2022

Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News StaffPublished: March 2, 2016, 11:28 am Updated: March 2, 2016, 4:29 pm

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill Wednesday that raises the state’s minimum wage.

The incremental increases will eventually bring the minimum wage to $14.75 an hour inside the Portland city limits by the year 2022.

In other parts of the state, the coast, Willamette Valley and Cascade foothills, the minimum wage will top out at $13.50 an hour. In remote areas, eastern Oregon and 3 rural counties in southern Oregon, the hourly wage will be raised to $12.50.

Governor Brown is pleased with the legislation, will goes into effect in July.

The new law still has critics though, especially affordable housing advocates. They say workers need help now, not 6 years from now. Others say higher wages will raise costs for small businesses.