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Proposal to pay farmworkers overtime clears first hurdle in Legislature

A change in Oregon law to require overtime pay for farmworkers passed out of a legislative committee on Tuesday, Feb. 14. (The Enterprise/file)

A controversial plan to require overtime pay that would affect the 86,000 farmworkers in Oregon advanced on Tuesday along partisan lines.

All seven Democrats on the House Committee on Business and Labor voted for House Bill 4002, which would require owners to pay farmworkers time and a half for hours over a 40 hour workweek, while the four Republicans on the committee opposed it. 

Another partisan vote – with Democratic support and Republican opposition – moved the bill to the House Revenue Committee where it is likely to be tweaked, according to Rep. Paul Holvey, R-Eugene, committee chair . . .