portland maine minimum wage

Officials in Portant have set forth a  proposal to raise Maine’s minimum wage next year.

The group “Mainers For Fair Wages” has collected more than 90,000 signatures, which is well over the minimum requirement to get the issue on  the ballot.

The portland maine minimum wage proposal for the statewide ballot would raise Maine’s minimum wage to $9 an hour in 2017, then by $1 a year until it reaches $12 in 2020.  After that, it’d increase at the rate as the cost of living.

Portland recently  voted on Election Day not to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15. A proposal has already passed to raise the wage in Portland to $10.10 starting next year.

In Bangor, an ordinance raising the city’s minimum wage to $9.75 by 2018 was supposed to be voted on this fall, but the city council decided to hold off on a vote until after the election.

Incoming councilor Joe Perry says he thinks Baldacci’s proposal has almost no chance of moving forward. He does support a wage increase, but at the state or federal level.

Opposition to the $15 per hour proposal came from a group called Too Far, Too Fast Portland. The group posted testimonials from local businesses saying they couldn’t handle the wage hike.

“Portland’s overall minimum wage beginning January 1st will be higher [at $10.10] than places like Boston and New York City no matter what,” the group said on its website. “In large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, DC an increase to $15 may make sense, but Portland’s economy can’t support it. That’s why we’re asking voters to vote No on Question 1 – it goes too far, too fast.”

Polls in Portland open this morning at 7.