Oregon Increase State Minimum Wage, Measure 25 (2002)

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The Oregon Increase State Minimum Wage Amendment, also known as Measure 25, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Oregon as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure increased the state minimum wage to $6.90 in 2003 and required an annual increase for inflation in future years, based on the consumer price index.[1]

Election results

Oregon Measure 25 (2002)
Approveda Yes 645,016 51.3%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

Increases Oregon Minimum Wage To $6.90 In 2003; Increases For Inflation In Future Years[2]


Eugene P. Pronovost, Diane Rosenbaum, and Dan Gardner


Supporters of the measure argue that $6.50 per hour is an almost impossible wage to live on and point out that it is not just teenagers who are working these low-wage jobs anymore and that even people working full time still struggle to stay above the poverty line.

Some of those who supported the measure are:

  • Pacific Green Party of Oregon
  • Oregon Center for Public Policy
  • Bill Bradbury, Oregon Secretary of State
  • Oregon School Employees Association
  • National Council of Jewish Women, Portland Section
  • Portland Fire Fighters Association
  • United Seniors of Oregon
  • Oregon Catholic Conference


Two prominent opponents of Measure 25 were the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) and the Oregon Restaurant Association, who argues that a recession is the worst time to raise minimum wage and points out that Oregon could lose up to 30,000 jobs because of an increase.[3]

Fighting back:

In 2003, these two organizations introduced House Bill 2624, which would eliminate the inflation adjustment provision of Measure 25. The measure passed.[4]

The Oregon chapter of NFIB, a small-business advocacy group, were glad to hear of the bill's passage. J.L. Wilson, the state director for the 12,000-member chapter said, "There is simply no getting around the hard facts that states with the highest minimum wage rates are the same ones with the highest unemployment rates."[5]

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