SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Legislature is opening debate about several proposals to boost the minimum wage as high as $15 an hour.
Legislative committees held three hearings on the idea Monday but took no formal action.
Raising the minimum wage is hugely popular with voters and interest groups on the left, but it's far from clear whether it has sufficient support in the Legislature.
The proponents say it would help low-wage workers escape poverty.
Business interests are mounting aggressive opposition, calling the idea a job killer and warning it will make Oregon less competitive to employers.
Oregon currently has the nation's second highest wage floor at $9.25 an hour, $2 higher than the federal minimum.