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Ore. labor commission touts indexing minimum wage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon official told a congressional committee Thursday that raising the minimum wage and indexing it to the cost of living is good for the economy.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, a Democrat, went before a Senate committee considering legislation to raise the federal minimum wage. Democrats generally are for the idea, Republicans generally are opposed.

Avakian said increasing the purchasing power of workers leads to a healthier economy as they spend their wages on goods and services.

He says Oregon's indexed minimum wage dates to 2002. It's pegged to the Consumer Price Index. This year, it rose by 15 cents an hour, to $8.95.

The Senate bill would raise the federal minimum age from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2015.