There are families living on $58 per day in Oklahoma due to the set minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Parents are unable to financially provide for their families, which ultimately causes food insecurity, homelessness, lack of access to health care and more.
A full-time working parent earns $15,000 per year in Oklahoma at the minimum wage level, meaning more than 1 in 7 Oklahomans are living below the federal poverty line ($26,000).
It has been over a decade since the minimum wage was increased in Oklahoma, indicating the state is not adjusting for inflation and the rising cost of living. I am a social worker and have witnessed the devastating impact financial struggles has had on families and their children.
We as a state need to support fellow Oklahomans. Raising the minimum wage would bring many families out of poverty, boost our economy and reduce racial and gender pay gaps.
This decision lies in the hands of the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee, which needs to review proposed Senate bills regarding increasing the minimum wage.
I encourage all Oklahomans to take direct action by voting, calling and writing our legislative leaders to advocate for change.
The Oklahoma state motto “Labor Omnia Vincit” means “Labor conquers all things.” Change does not happen overnight, but it takes the power and work of all of us to make a difference.
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