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Tina Kotek Celebrates Oregon’s Minimum Wage Increase, Highlights Opponents’ Records of Siding with Corporate Special Interests over Working Families

[Portland, OR] – Today, Oregon’s minimum wage will increase for over 100,000 workers across the state. 

As House Speaker, Tina Kotek led the way to pass a much-needed minimum wage increase over fierce opposition from Republicans  – and Senator Betsy Johnson – in 2016.

While this critical legislation has helped level the playing field and strengthen Oregon’s economy, it was met with opposition, including from Senator Betsy Johnson. Senator Johnson sided with Republicans in voting no on raising Oregon’s minimum wage. 

As Oregon’s longest-serving House Speaker, Tina also led the way to pass other landmark pro-worker bills, including earned sick leave and paid family leave.

Meanwhile, both of Tina’s opponents have long records of anti-worker positions:

Betsy Johnson’s 20+ Year Record: Siding with Corporations Over Working Families

In 2007, Senator Johnson blocked the passage of legislation to provide paid family leave to Oregonians. It would be 12 years until a measure providing Oregon families with access to paid family leave would pass in 2019. 

In 2015, Johnson voted against legislation to provide earned sick leave to workers. Thankfully, the Senate still had enough support to pass this critical legislation that ensures workers don’t need to choose between a paycheck and staying home to recover from an illness. 

In 2016, Senator Johnson voted with Republicans in opposition to legislation raising the minimum wage.

And, in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, Senator Johnson voted against legislation to provide expedited unemployment checks to school workers, such as janitors and bus drivers, who experienced lay-offs due to COVID-19.

Christine Drazan’s Record: Long-Time Political Insider Consistently Picks Corporations Over Workers

Christine Drazan worked as the political coordinator for the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association in 2006, a lobbying group that at that time told the press that their goal was to support and elect political candidates that promised to “quash any new increases” to the state’s minimum wage.

In 2018, Drazan campaigned on her support for President Trump’s Tax Bill that overwhelmingly benefitted corporations and the wealthy, while raising taxes on middle class working families.

Even though many Oregonians struggle with the rising costs of health care, in 2019 Drazan voted against legislation that created a task force to help Oregon build a health care system where everyone has access to affordable health care.

And, like Senator Betsy Johnson, Representative Drazan also voted against legislation in 2020 to provide expedited unemployment checks to school workers, such as janitors and bus drivers, who experienced lay-offs due to COVID-19.

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