New regulations discussed at luncheon

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Stand together, be creative and brace for more. Those were three of the main messages shared during last week’s Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon forum, which was focused on surviving government mandates. The timing wasn’t surprising, given recent action by the Oregon Legislature to increase the minimum wage in the years to come. Other recent mandates such as mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory heath care were also discussed. Jason Brandt, CEO of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, referred to the three items as “a three-headed monster” and noted the fines on companies for not providing health insurance. “They’re all happening at once,” Brandt said. “None of us will have silver bullet solutions for you. The ones who are the most creative are the ones that will survive and thrive.” Brandt noted a group that had threatened to put the issue on the November ballot backed off following the actions of the legislature. “The state is preempting any local government from passing laws on the topic,” Brandt said. “They also retained the ability to change the plan in future sessions. We need to gather stories of how these minimum wage increases impact businesses.” Though it ultimately wasn’t effective, Brandt praised business supporters for protesting the wage hike. “I’m impressed by how you people mobilized,” he said. “We had 20 percent people more...

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