PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon's current minimum wage is $9.25 an hour; two groups are working to get ballot measures before voters in 2016 that, over time, would boost the state's minimum wage to either $13.50 an hour or $15 an hour.
Oregon lawmakers will likely take up the issue during the short legislative session in February, so KATU News paired up with Portland State University Tuesday evening for a town hall discussion about minimum wage.
About 100,000 workers in the state work at minimum wage.
"People that are making less than $15 an hour are in dire circumstances right now," Heidi Cipress, a single, working class parent in support of the wage said. "I don't understand why people in my situation have to fight so hard to prove to people who make millions of dollars that we are as valuable workers as they are."
On the flip side, Irene Pavlatos said a minimum wage would be tough for small businesses, like hers, to adjust to.
"As much a small business would like to give everybody what they want, it's not feasible," she said. "We are too small. We don't have the same resources as some of the bigger corporations."
Both sides agreed they need to work together to find the right answer.
Watch the full broadcast of Tuesday night's town hall on minimum wage: