Advocates Press for Bill Hiking Maine's Minimum Wage

Mar 4, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine People's Alliance is endorsing legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage to $12 an hour over five years. It's one of seven bills proposing an increase.

Rep. Gina Melargno, an Auburn Democrat, is the bill's prime sponsor. She says the increase needed by the working poor.

"In talking to folks at their doors in Auburn during my campaign, many people expressed to me the pain they were experiencing economically," Melargno said. "As an hourly wage earner myself, in both the retail and health care industries, I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck."

The MPA released a study by the National Alliance for a Just Society, which calculated that a living wage for Maine would be nearly $16 an hour.

The legislation faces an uphill struggle, with Gov. Paul LePage dismissing minimum wage increase legislation as the wrong solution to Maine's economic problems.