AUGUSTA, Me.—The Maine House narrowly defeated a bill Apr. 5 that would have prevented the state’s minimum wage from rising to $12 an hour in 2020. The measure would have reduced the increases state voters enacted in a 2016 ballot initiative from $1 a year to 50 cents, so the minimum would not reach $12 for another four years. The 75-72 vote was largely along party lines. Rep. Richard Pickett (R-Dixfield) said higher minimum wages forced small businesses to cut workers’ hours to part-time, but Rep. Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford) said the state’s voters had decided they wanted a $12 minimum by 2020, not two years later. “I won’t turn my back and ignore what 420,892 Mainers said should be, and now is, the law,” he told Maine Public Radio. Read more


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