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Great Living Wage Article!

The state of Oregon is currently considering restrictions for Living Wage ordinances by municipalities and county governments. The Ashland (Oregon) Daily Tidings' editorial of 6/7/01 attacks this crazy idea...
Here is the terrific editorial in the afternoon (6/7/01) edition of the Ashland Daily Tidings: www.dailytidings.com
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Restaurant group getting the dishes done (title in bigger font)

The Oregon Restaurant Association doesn't mess around with appearances. The association is only No. 10 in the state in campaign contributions, but it gets a bullet. Even for lobbyists, they're on a downhill roll when it comes to influence peddling.

Consider HB2744, a bill that sets limits on local governments raising the minimum wage. Whatever side of the local "living wage" issue you fall, a bill bought and paid for by the ORA is not the way to go.

The bill passed the House by a 36-22 margin. All 36 yea-saying legislators received ORA contributions. In fact, the three-dozen hauled in a total of $129,675 - or 91 percent of the ORA largess. Nine nay-sayers received $8,768, while 13 of the no-voters received nary a nickel - this according to the Money in Politics Research Action Project, easily located at www.oregonfollowthemoney.org.

Presently, five cities in Oregon have adopted living wage ordinances. Ashland has one under consideration.

The ORA's action is puzzling to Rich Rhode, director of Rogue Valley Oregon Action and the ramrod of the Ashland living wage ordinance. "I'm not quite sure what the Restaurant Association was trying to solve since none of Oregon's living wage ordinances apply to any restaurants ... unless they receive tax subsidies," he said.

What the ORA is doing is buying insurance, halting a trend, taking care of business. And the Oregon House dutifully cleared the tables and did the dishes.

Now HB2744 goes to the Senate, where a paltry $67,580 was coughed up by the ORA for Oregon senators' campaigns. It's reassuring to know that the Senate vote will most certainly fall along monetary lines.

address: address: Ashland, Oregon