Minimum wage to remain the same in 2016

Ohio’s minimum wage will remain the same in 2016.

Minimum wage will remain at $8.10 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.05 per hour for tipped employees.

In 2006 Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment tying increases in minimum wage with inflation.

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, “the Constitutional Amendment passed by Ohio voters in November 2006 states that Ohio’s minimum wage shall increase on January 1 of each year by the rate of inflation.”

The state minimum wage is also tied to the Consumer Price Index. Over the last 12 months the Consumer Price Index declined 0.3 percent.

The decrease in the Consumer Price Index means Ohio’s minimum wage will remain the same.

Jason Kester, Executive Director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) said not having an increase in inflation is not a bad thing.

“That means that we’ve not had any artificial price adjustments of goods and services,” Kester said. “One of the good things in Ohio is that we have a budget surplus, that helps the process as well.”

Kester said not having a rise in inflation is a good indicator of the health of state and local economies.

Some state legislators in Columbus have introduced legislation to increase the minimum wage.

Senator Kenny Yuko has introduced Senate Bill 25, if enacted would raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

“This bill takes a dramatic, but necessary, step forward in ensuring hardworking Ohioans are paid and treated fairly,” Yuko said in a released statement. “The protections provided in Senate Bill 25 will lift Ohioans out of poverty, provide an incentive for hiring of additional middle class workers, and allow salaried workers to better balance work and family.”

According to information about Senate Bill 25, components of this legislation include a raise in the minimum wage and increased overtime protection, as well as measures that would prevent employee misclassification. More specifically, the bill would raise Ohio’s minimum wage from $8.10 to $10.10 an hour, adjusting to changes in inflation each year. It also increases overtime protection compensation from $23,000 to $50,000 in the first year, then to $69,000 in the following years.

“These are not new ideas- these are ideas that have been implemented in other states, and they are seeing results. States that protect their workers protect themselves,” Yuko said in a released statement. “As it has been said many times before: ‘People working 40 hours a week should not live in poverty.’ It’s that simple. We are doing a disservice to our working low and middle class families, who are without a doubt the ones most in need. It’s an absolute shame.”

Senate Bill 25 was assigned to the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee, for consideration.

By Wayne Allen

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Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT