Democratic State Senator Kenny Yuko, who represents the 25th District and is the primary sponsor of SB 25, talked Tuesday about his bill to increase Ohio’s minimum wage shortly after House Republican leadership presented highlights of a substitute budget bill, HB 64, that veers sharply away from the record-setting executive budget presented by Gov. John Kasich. The bill has many highlights, one of which is that it reduces the governor’s historic-high budget bill by $775 million.

GOP’s Ryan: Market Responsible For Boosting Wages And Benefits

GOP leadership said Sub. H.B. 64 cuts taxes, ensures state funding for schools and makes appropriations to various state programs. When House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and other Majority Caucus leaders were asked today whether anything in their alternative budget would boost wages or benefits, the response given by House Finance Committee Chairman Rep. Ryan Smith was based in the belief that market forces, not government policy, is the decider.

What the market is deciding, according to some experts, is that businesses can  , more save more of their earnings by working employees as independent agents, who as CEO of themselves will be forced to shoulder all their expenses, including contributions to Social Security. Chairman Smith said more than 130 thousand jobs in Ohio are going unfilled, and that businesses are desperate for workers.

#FIGHTFOR$15

Wednesday is April 15, the tax filing deadline for 2014. By other low-income workers who know minimum wage jobs don’t pay enough to keep afloat, it’s also being called “Fight for $15,” a day full of strikes, marches and rallies. “There’s going to be a war on poverty wages in the city and across the country Wednesday,” so says a Website that explains that efforts by a group of activists from New York City that has spread to more than 200 cities and 35 countries on 6 continents.

SB 25  Stuck In Committee

Sen. Yuko, from Richmond Heights near Cleveland, spent four terms in the Ohio House before being elected to the Senate. A strong voice for workers, Sen. Yuko thinks his bill will boost wages and benefits in several ways, including raising the minimum wage, and the salary threshold above which certain employees are exempt from the overtime law. It would also create a uniform standard to determine whether an individual performing services for an employer is an employee of that employer.

SB 25 was introduced by Sen Yuko in early February, and has been assigned to Transportation, Commerce and Labor, where it still rests. Senate Republicans out number Democrats, 23-10.

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