skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Maine House Blocks Effort to Roll Back Minimum Wage

play audio
Play

Friday, March 23, 2018   

AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine's House of Representatives has defeated an effort to stop voter-approved increases in the state's minimum wage.

In a largely party-line vote, the House said no to LD 1757, a bill that would have stopped increases due in 2019 and 2020, delayed cost of living increases, and lowered wages for younger workers.

Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the Maine AFL-CIO, praised the majority of legislators who cast their votes against the bill. He says two years after the increases started taking effect, the impact is clear.

"We have one of the lowest unemployment rates we've seen in a long time; we have jobs being added to the Maine economy,” says Schlobohm. “All of the 'sky-is-falling' arguments that were made by opponents of this – not a single one of them has come true."

The measure was introduced by Gov. Paul LePage, who said raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour will result in job losses and fewer opportunities for younger workers.

But Schlobohm contends that raising wages for the lowest-paid workers helps the entire state economy.

"People are buying bread, they're buying gas, they're buying food, and that's helping local businesses,” he says. “So, we think raising wages is a win/win – where workers do better, their families do better and the overall economy does better."

LD 1757 now goes to the state Senate, where the Republican majority is expected to approve the measure – but the House vote likely means the end of the effort for this year.

The minimum-wage increase was approved by a wide margin in a 2016 voter referendum. Schlobohm says traditionally with such initiatives, voters have had the final word.

"It's been a very disturbing trend that we've seen increasingly in Maine in the last few years, where legislators have not respected the will of the voters in the way that we think they should," he says.

He expects opponents of the minimum-wage increases will mount a new rollback effort next year.


get more stories like this via email

Human rights advocates point out in 2023, North Dakota adopted nearly a dozen laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Human rights voices are calling attention to new North Dakota laws deemed hostile toward LGBTQ+ individuals, saying it is part of a movement led by …


Social Issues

play sound

In eastern Kentucky, advocacy groups are expanding summer learning opportunities for families. Isolation and learning loss plague many rural …

Social Issues

play sound

In 1968, Congress passed a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to minimize people's exposure to wireless radiation, but the agency dropped …


Environment

play sound

Nevadans will have the opportunity to learn more and weigh in on a proposed public lands rule that shifts the Bureau of Land Management's focus to pri…

A recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis found South American (46%) and Cuban (35.9%) groups had higher levels of bachelor's degree attainment than all other Hispanic-origin groups in 2021 and for the entire 16-year period.(AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

In Tennessee and across the country, the rapidly growing Hispanic population made remarkable strides in college enrollment and educational attainment…

Social Issues

play sound

The moment Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, several voter-advocacy groups filed lawsuits against it…

Health and Wellness

play sound

An Indiana licensing board has fined a local physician $3,000 and handed her a letter of reprimand after she went public about a 10-year-old Ohio pati…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021