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GOP Senator Introduces Bill for $15 Minimum Wage in Ohio Ahead of November Ballot

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GOP Senator Introduces Bill for $15 Minimum Wage in Ohio Ahead of November Ballot
Source: Pinterest

GOP Senator Introduces Bill for $15 Minimum Wage in Ohio Ahead of November Ballot

Source: Pinterest

California might have set a new trend as other states are considering increasing their minimum wage soon. Ohio is the latest on this list.

Possible Minimum Wage Increase

Source: Youtube/OhioStateRepublicans

GOP Senator Bill Blessing, who hails from Colerain Township in Ohio, has introduced a new bill that can make minimum wage workers very happy. The Republican Senator has put forward a bill to increase the minimum wage in the state to $15 per hour for non-tipped workers by the year 2028.
This comes in an election year and won’t take effect till much later.

Minimum Wage in Ohio

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Ohio’s minimum wage currently stands at $10.45 for workers who do not get tipped and $5.25 for workers who get tipped regularly. This is new pricing, as it was previously $10.10 for workers who did not get tipped before it changed earlier in 2024.
The state’s minimum wage is usually dictated by the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation and shows the need for an increase.

The $15 Increase

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A group called Raise the Wage Ohio is responsible for raising awareness and pushing for the proposed increase in the minimum wage.
The group collected many signatures in hopes of putting the question on the November election ballot. Its aim is to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to $15 per hour and keep it constant for everyone, including tipped, young, and disabled workers.

The Proposed Bill

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GOP senator Bill Blessing is taking a different approach to this new bill. Blessing is trying to go through the legislature by making it a bill that would be signed into law.
This is because he believes that getting this question on the ballot might not be beneficial due to the ballot language. However, this has raised a few concerns from the public.

Tipped Workers Excluded

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The Ohio group and Blessing have the same objective of a $15 minimum wage. However, there is a huge difference between them. The group’s objective is to get a $15 wage for all workers, including those who get tipped, while Blessing’s Bill will give a minimum wage of $7.50 to those who get tips regularly.
Therefore, the public is tilting more towards the group for obvious reasons.

Why Are Tipped Workers Excluded?

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The senator explained the difference in the minimum wage demands for tipped workers. He believes that raising the wage drastically will harm the businesses affected.
This is because these places compensate for the low pay with tips from their customers and cannot afford to increase their employees’ wages so quickly.

Republicans Raise Suspicion

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For many years, the Democrats in Ohio have been the ones pushing and trying to get an increase in the minimum wage in the state. Therefore, it came as a huge shock that Bill Blessing, a Republican, is now pushing for this change. As this comes just months before the November elections, people are wondering if there are other hidden objectives that the GOP has in mind.

The Power of the Legislature

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The Republicans in Ohio currently outweigh the Democrats in the legislature. Therefore, they control the laws of the state, and their decisions will most likely be passed in Congress.
Therefore, many believe that these Republicans are trying to “fend off” the group by putting the $25 minimum wage in the ballot proposal, thereby helping the party as a whole.

Blessing’s Explanation

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As speculations started to go around, the Senator also caught wind of the different theories from citizens of the state. However, he explained that the general perception was not what they intended.
He claims that the bill was not to mess with the voting process or entice the voters. He believes that it is the GOP trying to reach a compromise with the workers involved.

Citizens Remain Wary

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Still, Ohio citizens and voters are not buying the senator’s explanations. Mariah Ross, the campaign manager of the Raise the Wage Ohio group, does not believe Blessing’s explanation.
Instead, Ross believes that the bill was a sort of attempt to trick members of the public away from adding the questioning the ballot. She also believes that tipped workers would be added to this bill if it wasn’t political propaganda.

An Unusual Addition to the Bill

Source: Pinterest

While Blessing’s bill has some upsides, the bad sides might outweigh the good. This is because the bill proposes an increase in income tax credit for all Ohio employees with children under three years old.
Unlike the regular taxpayers who pay 9%, they will have to pay a 12% tax income fee, thereby reducing their take-home income again.

Ohioans’ Point of View

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The issue of increasing the minimum wage in Ohio has been recurring for many years now. The majority support the increase, and according to a survey in 2022, 60% of the voters in this state support the $15 per hour increase.
The Raise the Wage Ohio group has its work cut out. Before July 3, it must get 413,000 voter signatures to put the question on November’s ballot.