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Oklahoma senate bill proposed to increase state minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.50

Posted: 9:00 PM, Jan 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-17 23:23:44-05
Food pantry

TULSA, Okla. — Senate Bill 102 would increase Oklahoma's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.50 an hour. But for Tulsa's Riverwood District the poverty rate for a family of four is just over $11.00 an hour, and food pantries worry many would still have to skip meals.

"When you have a senior doing that, that puts a senior in a vulnerable place. You have mothers skipping meals or eating very little so her kids can eat. That just doesn't create the best situation for families," South Tulsa Community House Executive Director Karen Streeter said.

Streeter said those that work minimum wage jobs often don't have consistent hours.

"What's going to happen to those folks that are working when the wage goes up to $10 an hour... how are employees going to respond. Will they cut hours even more? Will they make people work even harder on those positions?" she said.

There's also the concern over the price of goods going up along with wages.

"How is the company going to cover the cost of increased wage, increased FICA...something has to give. Typically the consumer ends up being the one who pays for that," Streeter said.

Senate Bill 102 will be introduced this session, and Streeter said it would be a step in the right direction.

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