Press Herald editorial board: ‘Hands off the minimum wage increase’

Press Herald editorial board: ‘Hands off the minimum wage increase’

Calling it the “easiest job for the new Legislature,” the Portland Press Herald published an editorial on Sunday recommending Maine lawmakers ignore attempts by Governor Paul LePage and corporate lobbyists to roll back portions of the minimum wage increase referendum passed overwhelmingly by voters last month.

“Question 4 received 55.5 percent of the vote on Election Day, doing well in every region of the state. The ‘Yes on 4’ vote exceeded Hillary Clinton’s state-winning tally by 63,000 votes. Nearly 10,000 people cast a vote either for or against the referendum but did not mark a ballot for president. The voters have spoken, and it’s clear what they said,” wrote the editorial board.

The newspaper also pulled no punches regarding the increase to the $3.75 sub-minimum wage for workers, like restaurant servers, who receive at least $30 a month in tips, calling the anti-minimum wage arguments of restaurant owners “histrionics” and the assertions by governor LePage on the issue “nonsense.”

In an article on the upcoming legislative session, also published on Sunday, Democratic leaders in the Maine House of Representatives strongly agreed with upholding the voters’ will on the minimum wage.

“I have a lot of respect for voters, for people in general. I don’t buy the argument that voters didn’t understand,” said incoming Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden. “They knew what they were voting on and they approved it.”

Photo: Minimum wage increase supporters in January delivering nearly 90,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot.


You might also like

Frances Perkins

Frances Perkins would support raising Maine’s minimum wage

When my grandmother, Frances Perkins, was invited by FDR to be his Secretary of Labor after he was elected president in 1932, she was not at all sure that taking

Maine Legislature

Maine Democrats attempt to steer election back to family and economic issues

After weeks of national and international attention to a series of violent and racist statements by Governor Paul LePage and attempts to hold him accountable, or the lack thereof, by

state budget

After getting tax breaks for the wealthy, Republicans still shut down the government

On Friday night, 60 House Republicans voted to shut down Maine’s government. Here’s the full list. After refusing to participate in budget negotiations all session, at the literal eleventh hour