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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Brown Calls For $15/hour Minimum Wage In Plan To 'Restore Value Of Work'

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) delivers remarks at John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

The top elected Democrat in Ohio wants to take on what he calls “corporate freeloaders” – companies with workers whose wages are so low that they qualify for government assistance. And that’s just part of the lawmaker’s plan.The proposal from Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown would, as he puts it, restore the value of work. He wants to restructure trade deals such as NAFTA, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and improve retirement benefits.Brown hopes his Senate colleagues will realize that these issues matter to middle class Americans.“If they’re out listening to the public, go into a church, go into a diner, go into a union hall, walk into a street in middle-class, working-class neighborhoods they hear these discussions then we’ll move forward,” said Brown.Several Republican and conservative groups have slammed Brown’s proposal, including Americans for Prosperity, which calls it just more government intervention that would hurt the economy during what they call a fragile recovery. Brown is facing what’s likely to be a tough re-election campaign next year. Copyright 2017 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.