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DEATHS

Jessie J. McCoy, 98

Born March 24, 1923

Died July 28, 2021

William Carl Collins Jr., 91

Born July 11, 1930

Died July 27, 2021

James Haskell "Jim" Gibson, 80

Born August 6, 1940

Died July 27, 2021

LARRY ALLEN KENNEDY, 42

Born October 18, 1978

Died July 27, 2021

Donald P. Hamilton, 100

Born August 5, 1920

Died July 27, 2021

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THINGS TO DO

Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 7:56 AM

Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, filed Senate Bill 161 on Thursday to increase Oklahoman’s minimum wage requirement.

Senate Bill 161 would require employers to pay their employees a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour, or match the federal minimum wage rate, whichever is greater. Oklahoma’s current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is equal to the federal minimum wage.

“It’s been more than a decade since hard-working Oklahomans have seen an increase to the minimum wage schedule,” Young said. “During this time, the spending power of a minimum wage paycheck has drastically decreased.”

The last change to Oklahoma’s minimum wage schedule was in 2008 when the rate increased from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour.

Twenty-nine states have a minimum wage requirement higher than the federal minimum, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. While Texas and Kansas match Oklahoma’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage, Missouri’s minimum wage rate is $9.45 per hour and Arkansas’ minimum wage rate is $10 per hour. Both states have plans to further increase their rates in the coming years.

“Many of our essential workers during this pandemic have been paid a minimum wage. Raising the rate at this point in time would be a well-deserved ‘thank you’ for their dedication and service during an extremely challenging year,” Young said. “If we truly want to be a ‘Top 10 State,’ we must raise our minimum wage rate to be competitive with other states on a national level.”

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