More states join Maine in minimum wage movement

More states join Maine in minimum wage movement

When 200,000 signatures are delivered to the Secretary of State later today, Colorado will join Maine, Washington and Arizona as states poised to hold referendums this November to raise state minimum wages to at least $12 an hour by 2020. Maine’s initiative was the first to qualify for the 2016 ballot.

“We’re proud that Maine is helping to lead a national movement for fair wages, based on the simple idea that if you work hard, you should earn enough to live,” said Mainers for Fair Wages campaign manager Amy Halsted. “We’re leading this charge for the thousands of Maine seniors who can’t afford to retire and the mothers who struggle to feed their kids on poverty wages. It’s long past time to raise the wage.”

Three additional referendum campaigns have already succeeded, with lawmakers in California, Oregon and Washington D.C. choosing to act on proposals for minimum wage increases up to $15 an hour without taking the issue to the ballot. State legislatures in New York and New Jersey have also passed $15 minimum wage increases this year.

Question 4, Maine’s minimum wage referendum, would increase the minimum wage from $7.50 to $9 an hour in 2017 and then a dollar a year until it reaches $12 in 2020, with cost of living increases thereafter. The sub-minimum wage for service workers who receive tips would also be gradually increased.

Cities across the country, including Minneapolis and Cleveland, will also be holding minimum wage increase referendums this November.



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