State Issue 2: Explanation and Argument in Support

Vote YES on Issue 2 to restore the value of the minimum wage so hard working Ohioans are able to provide for themselves and their families. Raising the wage will encourage personal responsibility and lift many low-wage workers out of poverty.

The real value of the federal minimum wage has reached a 50-year low because it has not kept up with the rising cost of living. Today, a full-time worker at the current minimum wage of $5.15 earns just $206 per week, or $10,712 per year, well below the poverty line for a family of three.

We can do better. The Ohio Minimum Wage Amendment would restore the value that the minimum wage has lost over time.

The Amendment would raise Ohio's minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85 per hour on January 1, 2007. Each year afterwards, the minimum wage would increase if the cost of living rises, protecting Ohio's lowest paid workers from losing ground. It also provides enforcement measures, similar to the federal minimum wage law, so Ohioans can protect themselves against unscrupulous employers.

The Amendment would raise wages for over 700,000 Ohio workers.   On average, these workers provide half of their families' weekly earnings. Nearly three-quarters of the workers who would benefit are adults over twenty. More than 250,000 Ohio children have a parent who will benefit. 

Twenty-two other states have raised the minimum wage above the federal level and studies show that r aising the minimum wage substantially helps families while improving the overall economy. Between 1997 and 2003, states with higher minimum wages had more overall job growth.

Ohioans have always valued hard work, but our minimum wage has not kept pace. We believe honest work deserves honest pay. Vote YES on Issue 2 to restore the value of the minimum wage for hard working Ohioans.

Prepared by: Ohioans for a Fair Minimum Wage, Hon. C. J. Prentiss, Pierrette M. Talley, Katrin Heins, and Gary L. Coles