Portland Committee Approves Scaled-Back Minimum Wage Hike
PORTLAND, Maine - A Portland committee has given approval to a proposal to establish a city-wide minimum wage. It would be the first municipal minimum wage in the state and the twelveth in the U.S., according to the Portland Press Herald.
The proposal that was accepted is a scaled-back version of the one proposed by Mayor Michael Brennan. It would hike the Portland minimum wage to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2016, with increases every two years until it hits $9.75 Jan. 1, 2020. Brennan had proposed starting at $9.50 an hour and raising it in increments from there.
Rather than being disappointed, Brennan says he's pleased that the Finance Committee finally took up the issue and voted on it. "Clearly this is a significant step for the city to recognize the need for increasing a minimum wage and having a minimum wage in the city."
Brennan notes that the plan still has to be considered by the full City Council. He says the version recommended by the Finance Committee Thursday night might not be the one ultimately approved by the council. He says there will continue to be opportunities for debate and discussion on the issue.