WASHINGTON— 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.