COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The debate over raising the minimum wage is heating up from Washington to the Ohio Statehouse.
Efforts to raise the minimum to $15 an hour have stalled at the federal level, but at the Ohio Statehouse, lawmakers have introduced their own bill that would raise the state wage from $8.80 an hour to $15 an hour over a period of time.
“So many of our citizens have to work more than one job just to make ends meet and some even work two jobs and still have to get public assistance,” said Senator Cecil Thomas, (D-Avondale).
Greg Lawson, a research fellow with the Buckeye Institute, said raising the minimum wage would benefit some people, but Ohio would also lose around 100,000 jobs in the process.
“A lot of these are jobs at restaurants and things like that, especially businesses that have been hit particularly badly through the pandemic and so we have to kind of balance these things,” Lawson said.
Bruce Weinberg, an economics professor at Ohio State University, said both sides could be right. It will be about balancing the losses for what would be gained.
“Employment declines might be smaller than we had thought they would have been, but even if you look at people who are relatively favorable to minimum wage, there’s a general acknowledgement that there could be some declines in employment,” Weinberg said.
At the federal level, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said this week he is still in favor of a $15 an hour minimum wage.