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Politics

Raise Coming For Thousands of Maine Minimum Wage Workers

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Susan Sharon
/
Maine Public/file
Customers inside Rolly's Diner in Auburn on March 1, 2017.

Thousands of Maine workers earning minimum wage will get a raise come Jan. 1, their second increase since voters increased the minimum wage at the ballot box in 2016.

The citizen-approved law increased the wage to $9 an hour last year and it will rise to $10 an hour on Jan. 1. It will continue to increase by $1 each year until it reaches $12 by 2020.

Maine is among 29 states that have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum of $7.25. And it's one of 18 nationwide that will raise its minimum wage come the first of next year. It was one of four states that joined a progressive movement to increase the wage through ballot initiative in 2016.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, roughly 59,000 non-tipped minimum wage earners will see an increase next year.

A provision in the ballot law that increased the minimum wage for approximately 24,000 tipped workers was repealed by the Legislature earlier this year.