Measure No. 25

Argument in Opposition

Don't saddle rural Oregon with Measure 25.

Nyssa and Newport already have a higher minimum wage than New York City while Heppner and Hermiston already have a minimum wage higher than Honolulu.

Across rural Oregon, double-digit unemployment rates, bank foreclosures, and businesses on the brink of closing are far too common.

Measure 25 would make all this suffering much worse. The wage rates and indexing requirements of Measure 25 would hammer rural communities with costs that are too high even for big cities.

The inflation rate Measure 25 uses to calculate wage increases is based on urban areas. The cost of living next door to a high-tech plant in a large city is much higher than living in downtown John Day or Milton-Freewater or Burns or Sutherlin.

At $6.50 per hour, Oregon's family farmers and ranchers and rural small-business owners already have a minimum wage that is higher than New York ($5.15) and Hawaii ($5.75) where the cost of living is certainly higher than Stayton or Astoria. Oregon's minimum wage is one of the highest in the U.S.

Oregon agriculture depends on exports to other states and countries to survive. Measure 25's large and continuing wage hikes would make the most efficient Oregon farmer or rancher unable to compete.

Rural family-owned businesses do not have the customer base or economy of scale that their urban cousins have. Rural small businesses cannot absorb increased costs like Measure 25 would impose.

In agriculture, despite the lowest family farm income since 1983, wages paid to employees continue to climb without Measure 25. At $785 million, wages to employees was the largest single expense paid by Oregon agricultural producers last year.

There is no justification for raising small-town Oregon's minimum wage to $1.75 per hour higher than New York's minimum wage.

Mainstreet rural Oregon cannot afford higher-than-Park Avenue wages.

The family farmers and ranchers of

Oregon Farm Bureau urge you to


(This information furnished by Barry Bushue, president, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation.)

Argument in Opposition

It's Not the State's Job

Measure 25 Violates Basic Bible Teaching

According to Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, the civil magistrate's job is to punish criminals, not to set wages. God has given us the freedom of the marketplace to determine these matters. The parable of the workers in the vineyard asserts the right of the owner to pay widely differing wages. He said "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?" (Matthew 20:14) The State of Oregon would answer, "No, you don't. We'll tell you what your employees must be paid."

Let My Teenager Work - Measure 25 Hurts Kids

More and more young people would likely face unemployment if Measure 25 passes. While it would mandate pay, it would not mandate any increased productivity on the part of workers. Employers either have to raise prices or lay workers off as wages increase without resultant productivity increases. At least some would do the latter.

Let My Teenager Learn ­ Measure 25 Hurts Kids

In days gone by, young teens would learn job skills and a proper work ethic by doing simple tasks for lesser wages. If the private businessman can no longer pay a young teen lower wages for such work, these jobs would go away, and along with them, the training and experience opportunities they once provided.

This Measure purports to help workers, but it actually hurts them.

If a law could be passed increasing productivity, maybe we could look at passing one increasing wages. But the State is not God, even though it sometimes thinks it is. It cannot make better workers by legislation.

Prepared by the Parents Education Association, a family-based biblical alternative to the
National Education Association
See all our Ballot Measure recommendations at

(This information furnished by Dennis R. Tuuri, Parents Education Association.)

Argument in Opposition

Oregon Has One Of the Highest Unemployment Rates In the Country

Oregon Has a Miserable Economy; Why Make it Worse? Economists say that increasing the Oregon minimum wage will worsen our economy and put more people out of work. Measure 25 increases the minimum wage every year, even in the middle of a recession.

30,000 More People Could Be Out of Work. Economists estimate that nearly 30,000 more Oregonians could lose their jobs as a result of the new higher minimum wage. Oregon already has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, we can't afford to lose more jobs.

Rural Farmers Will Be Required to Pay Portland Prices. Economists indicate that if we pass one of the nation's highest minimum wage standards, rural farmers will be hit the hardest by a wage standard based on a Portland CPI. Measure 25 will force a Portland indexing on rural communities with double-digit unemployment.

Food, Gas, Healthcare and Housing Costs Will Rise Dramatically. Economists believe that with one of the nation's highest minimum wage standards, food, gas, healthcare and housing costs will escalate out of control.

Let's Get Oregon Back on Track. Oregon already has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. With Oregon in a recession, this is no time to increase the cost of labor and products. Let's stabilize Oregon's economy, solve our school funding crisis and get people back to work to feel secure again.

Vote No on Measure 25. Now is Not the Time.

(This information furnished by Bill Perry, Oregon Restaurant Association.)

Argument in Opposition

Oregon Small Business Owners Request a NO Vote on #25

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) represents nearly 13,000 small businesses in Oregon. Over two-thirds of these businesses have less than 10 employees. NFIB opposes Measure 25.

Oregon's economy currently can't sustain Measure 25: Oregon's economy is in the deepest recession of the past 20 years. Small businesses are folding or scaling back. Our unemployment is among the highest in the U.S. While the booming economy of the late 1990's allowed us to significantly raise the minimum wage without repercussion, we are in a vastly different economic circumstance today.

Measure 25 will increase prices: When the cost of operating a business goes up, the prices for their goods and services must go up. This will hurt low and fixed income consumers, particularly senior citizens on tight budgets and those who've become unemployed due to the recession.

Measure 25 will cost new jobs: Measure 27 will increase the cost of an entry level job by several hundred dollars per year. Whatever prospect there is for new jobs in our local communities will be considerably dampened by the realities of mandated increased labor costs.

Measure 25 will make it harder to reduce high unemployment: Oregon's unemployment rate has been the highest in the U.S. for most of the year. Many argue that our minimum wage, which is already among the highest in the country, is at least partly responsible. Measure 25 will only exacerbate the problem, making it more difficult to pull out of our recession and create more jobs.

Measure 25 will mean cuts to employee benefits: Currently over 90% of Oregon small businesses provide benefits in addition to wages. Measure 25 upsets that balance and causes employers to cut benefits that might only be affordable through the employer (i.e. Health Insurance) to meet the cost of Measure 25.

Please Vote NO on Measure 25

(This information furnished by J.L. Wilson, NFIB/Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition


Associated Oregon Industries, representing over 20,000 Oregon businesses, a NO VOTE on Measure 25.


Imagine yourself as an owner of a business during a recession, you may wish or need hire a new employee to better serve your customers but you can't.

Imagine that the State has told you to increase your entry level wage from $6.50 to $6.90 and further increases will be tied to the Portland area's inflation rate ­ never mind that you may be located in a rural community where the economy is much worse. The RECESSION is causing double digit unemployment in rural communities.

Now as the employer, you must consider how the minimum wage increases other costs that are tied to wage rates ­

Social Security Taxes
Unemployment Insurance Taxes
Workers' Compensation Taxes

Further, if the new employee is earning a wage that is artificially inflated by the State ­ you may have to raise the wages of your current employees ­ even though your annual budget for wages and benefits has been set. This increased wage may reduce the money available for the important benefits your employees have asked for, such as health care.

Imagine you are a business owner ­ business is down because of a recession, employee costs continue to rise ­ you will not hire the entry-level employee.

Minimum wage increases reduce the current and future number of entry level and training opportunities for those with the least experience, whom the proponents of a higher minimum wage purport to help.

Mandated minimum wage increases greatly impact the bottom line of Oregon's small and family owned businesses and cost vulnerable individuals an opportunity to work. Oregon is in the middle of the recession ... LET'S NOT ADD MORE COSTS OR MORE UNEMPLOYMENT TO OUR STATE.

Please vote NO on Ballot Measure 25.

Associated Oregon Industries (AOI)

(This information furnished by Richard Butrick, Associated Oregon Industries.)

Argument in Opposition

Why One of Oregon's Most Important Employers Can't Afford Measure 25

Oregon food processors have struggled for five years against global competitors who pay a fraction of Oregon's minimum wage ­ already one of the highest in the nation.

Oregon food processors already pay well above the Oregon minimum wage, but cannot afford the upward wage pressure a higher minimum wage creates for all its employees, and still compete against domestic and international competitors who don't have this added cost.

The same initiative as Measure 25 passed four years ago in Washington State, where a major food processor is considering leaving the state as a direct result of Washington's non-competitive minimum wage. Hundreds of family wage jobs could be lost, and a whole community's economic and tax base could be virtually wiped out.

Rural farmers will be required to pay Portland wages. Rural farmers would be hardest hit if forced to pay wage standards similar to downtown Portland. Measure 25 will force Portland price indexing on rural communities already struggling with double-digit unemployment. How will a minimum wage tied to high Portland prices help rural communities with lower inflation, but much higher unemployment, create jobs and economic opportunities for its young people?

A higher minimum wage creates inflation, which ripples through the economy. Oregonians will pay more for food, energy, health care, and housing. Can consumers afford inflation when they're already worried about keeping their jobs in an economic recession?

Let's Get Oregon Back on Track. Oregon already has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. With Oregon in the worst recession in twenty years, this is no time to increase the cost of labor and products all Oregonians buy. This well-intentioned measure is the wrong solution. Measure 25 will rob workers of economic security and drive unemployment higher in Oregon.

Vote No on Measure 25. Now is Not the Time.

(This information furnished by Ken Yates, Oregon Food Processors FOODPAC.)

Explanatory Statement

Arguments in Favor

Statewide Measures

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