Members of the legislature’s Committee on Labor and Housing held a public hearing Monday to discuss six proposed bills regarding minimum wage in the state.


The contents of some of the bills would curb or delay minimum wage increases, advocates for workers warned that the measures would hurt struggling people by cutting into needed pay raises. Instead, they argued the legislature should approve bills to increase wages, giving low-income Mainers additional support.


Two bills would prevent municipalities from changing their minimum wage. The bills, sponsored by Reps. Joshua Morris (R-Turner) and Dan Newman (R-Belgrade) come after Portland voters in November approved raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour with time-and-a-half hazard pay during emergencies.


The committee also heard testimony on a bill put forward by Rep. Dick Bradstreet (R-Vassalboro) that would delay cost of living increases to the minimum wage. In addition, Rep. Shelley Rudnicki (R-Fairfield) advocated for her bill to create a lower minimum wage of $9.75 an hour for those under 18 and for those under 20 who are students.


In contrast, Rep. Benjamin Collings (D-Portland) testified about two bills that would expand wages for workers. One bill would incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage to $16 an hour by 2025 and then tie wage increases to the cost of living. The other measure would establish a minimum wage of $16 an hour for school support staff for academic years starting after June 30, 2022.


The Committee will discuss the future of these bills during future work sessions.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.