January 18, 2020
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Raise coming for thousands of minimum wage workers

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Salena Sawtelle gets ready to bathe residents before they eat breakfast at the Stillwater Health Care facility in Bangor, Feb. 28, 2017.

Thousands of Maine workers earning minimum wage will get a raise come Jan. 1, their second increase since voters increased the minimum wage at the ballot box in 2016.

The citizen-approved law increased the wage to $9 per hour last year, and it will rise to $10 per hour on Jan. 1. It will continue to increase by $1 each year until it reaches $12 by 2020.

Maine is among 29 states that have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum of $7.25. And it’s one of 18 nationwide that will raise its minimum wage come the first of next year. It was one of four states that joined a progressive movement to increase the wage through ballot initiative in 2016.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, roughly 59,000 non-tipped minimum wage earners will see an increase next year.

A provision in the ballot law that increased the minimum wage for approximately 24,000 tipped workers was repealed by the Legislature earlier this year.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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