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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin opposes minimum wage increase

Fallin, preparing to lead a meeting of the nation’s governors in Washington, says the minimum wage boost favored by President Barack Obama would cost jobs and hurt the economy.
by Chris Casteel Published: February 21, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin, preparing to lead a national conference of governors, rejected President Barack Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage and defended Common Core academic standards that have generated opposition in Oklahoma and other states.

Meeting with reporters at the hotel hosting the National Governors Association meeting, Fallin said she opposed raising the federal minimum wage “because I’m concerned that it would destroy jobs, and especially small business owners can’t afford to increase their minimum wage.”

Obama told Democratic governors at the White House on Friday that he was going to continue to press Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, saying it would benefit 16 million Americans and boost the nation’s economy.

“And this is not just good policy; it also happens to be good politics, because the truth of the matter is the overwhelming majority of Americans think that raising the minimum wage is a good idea,” Obama said. “That is true for independents, that is true for Democrats and it’s true for Republicans.”

Fallin said a lot of entry-level jobs in Oklahoma pay more than the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage because businesses are competing for employees. She said markets should determine wages and states should be left to create their own wage policies.

Fallin, chairman of the National Governors Association, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, vice chairman, expressed frustration with opposition to the Common Core standards for English and math for schoolchildren adopted by 45 states.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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