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State Rep. Mark Owens eyes ag overtime bill as short session nears

Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, is watching out for legislation that could affect farmers in his district. (Enterprise file photo)

VALE – State Rep. Mark Owens said he is concerned an effort to require farmers to pay agriculture workers overtime wages will once again be on the docket when lawmakers meet in February.

The Oregon Legislature is scheduled to meet Feb. 1 for its so-called short session. 

Early in the 2021 session, lawmakers introduced House Bill 2358 A, designed to require employers to pay agriculture owners overtime wages for work in excess of 40 hours in a week. 

The bill was sponsored by House Democrats and withstood two public hearings and but stalled in the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 mandated a minimum . . .