AUGUSTA – Governor LePage wants a bill that would block cities from raising it locally.
This comes less than a week after Portland took steps to try to do just that. Minimum wage here in Maine is 7.50 an hour, and under the Governor’s proposed bill, cities and towns won’t be allowed to raise it.
LD 1361 an act to promote minimum wage consistency is being introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Andre Cushing. He says the governor feels it’s important to have one state-wide minimum wage.
It would avoid having a patchwork of local laws that he says would create confusion for businesses, whose employees might work in several different cities.
Democratic Senator Justin Alfond represents part of Portland, where last week, a committee endorsed the mayor’s proposal to enact a citywide minimum wage and make it higher than the state’s.
As a small business owner himself, Alfond says better wages keep employees around longer, and those employees keep customers coming back. He says a “one size fits all” approach isn’t the answer.
“What the Governor is trying to do is concentrate more power in Augusta. I don’t quite understand it seems against his characteristics but what we are seeing today is a concentration of power going against local control and i don’t think that’s what Mainers want to see.” Sen. Justin Alfond
We were unable to reach Governor LePage for comment. This bill next heads to committee for a hearing.