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Mainers for Fair Wages Submits Minimum Wage Petition

AUGUSTA, Maine — Mainers for Fair Wages, a political coalition that includes the Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine People's Alliance, has submitted 75,000 signatures to the secretary of state to force consideration of an increase in the state minimum wage.

"I joined the minimum wage campaign last fall and I personally collected hundreds of signatures to make sure this initiative is on the ballot this year," says Melissa Stevens of Lewiston, one of the petition organizers.

The citizens initiative will require the Legislature consider the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2017 and then by $1 a year until it reaches $12 by 2020.

If the Legislature rejects the measure, voters have the final say on the matter at the ballot box later this year.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.