Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement regarding her opposition to President Obama's plan to increase the national minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour. Fallin released the statement after signing Senate Bill 1023, a bill that ensures municipalities in Oklahoma cannot mandate a minimum wage higher than the national rate.
"President Obama and the Democratic Party are advocating for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.75 to $10.10. They believe that on this issue, like on so many others, the government can just mandate prosperity and growth with no consideration of economic reality. Now they are taking that fight to Oklahoma, urging their liberal allies to push for mandatory wage increases.
"President Obama and his Oklahoma surrogates say they want to raise the minimum wage to reduce poverty. They are ignoring the fact that most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part time or entry level jobs. Many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle class families.
"Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of these part time workers. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates a minimum wage hike would result in half a million jobs being lost. A mandated wage hike would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers. It would do all of these things without even addressing the goal of reducing poverty.
"Oklahoma doesn't need the Obama Administration's advice on how to build a strong economy. We have a 5 percent unemployment rate and, since 2011, the third highest per capita personal income increase in the nation. We are focused on continuing to successfully create and retain jobs that pay above the minimum wage."