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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Experts: $15 minimum wage would benefit 1 million Ohioans

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Friday, May 10, 2024   

Ohio lawmakers are considering legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for most Ohio workers and create a refundable Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit.

Ohio's minimum wage is $10.45 per hour for most employees, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Policy Matters Ohio economist Michael Shields said provisions in Ohio law weaken minimum-wage protections for certain groups, including workers younger than 16, workers who have a disability and tipped workers.

"Employers who staff tipped workers are allowed to claim a portion of those workers' tips and use it to offset the wages that they pay those workers," he said. "So, tipped workers can be paid as little as $5.25 per hour."

A citizen's ballot initiative to raise the wage will appear before voters this November if it gathers the more than 442,000 valid signatures needed by July 23 to be included on the ballot. Shields said increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would benefit nearly 1 million Ohioians, around 30% of whom are Black and Latino workers.

Shields said everyone deserves to be paid a wage that honors the value of work and is proportional to cost of living. Despite increases in worker productivity over the past few decades, he said employers have successfully kept wages down.

"The typical Ohio worker today produces about 76% more than their counterpart did at the end of the 1970s," he said, "but over that timeframe, wages for the worker in the middle, the median worker has gone up by just 4%."

If passed, the ballot measure would take effect in 2026. Senate Bill 256 would go into effect in 2028.

This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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