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.

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