OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH)--Oklahoma state Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, filed Senate Bill 161 on Thursday to increase Oklahoma's minimum wage requirement.
SB 161 would require employers to pay employees a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour, or match the federal minimum wage rate, whichever is greater.
Currently, Oklahoma's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which matches 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.”
Oklahoma last changed the minimum wage in 2008, raising the rate from $6.55 to $7.25.
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have a minimum wage requirement higher than the federal minimum.
“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.”