“I am one of the many young Mainers that will be harmed by this bill; by this attack on working families. Like many kids, the older I got, the more I began to notice the financial hardships facing my family. Kids notice when there's no food to be had. Kids notice when the water stops flowing because the pipes froze again. Kids notice when CMP knocks on their door and turns out their lights. And you know what happens to those kids? Those kids grow into hard working teenagers whose income helps keep their family afloat. The raise in the minimum wage has done so much good for those families like mine, struggling in Maine and I ask you not to take that away from us.”
– Testimony of Alyssa Thompson, Greene, ME
This bill would have slowed the rate of the voter-approved increase in Maine’s minimum wage over the next two years. It would also have reduced wages in 2020 to $10.50 an hour, rather than the $12 rate currently in law. The bill would also cut the required wage for workers under the age of 18 to just 80% of the minimum wage for the first 200 hours of employment.
When it comes to raising wages for workers, nobody should be left behind. But the corporate interests who continue to attempt wage cuts do so by isolating different classes of workers, such the as young people who were targeted by this bill. One in four teenagers in Maine impacted by the bill is living in or near poverty, and many are contributing to their families’ financial well-being. Paying a sub-minimum wage to youth for their first 90 days will reinforce the current trend of employers treating their workers as disposable and may lead to employers pitting young people against seniors vying for the same minimum wage jobs.
DEAD: This bill passed the Senate but was defeated in the House. It died in "non-concurrence" (when a bill differs in language between chambers because of two different amendments).