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Portland Maine Minimum Wage of $15 Per Hour Nixed by Voters

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By    |   Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 10:25 AM

Portland Maine's proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage was rejected by voters on Tuesday, reversing a trend seen cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, 

The ballot measure to double the state's $7.50 minimum wage was soundly defeated 58 percent to 42 percent, according to the Portland Press Herald.

"Right now I'm feeling a huge sense of relief for every small business owner in Portland, and everyone who works for me," said Scott Rousseau, owner of Play It Again Sports in Portland. "I think it's great news for the future of our city."

"Too Far, Too Fast," a political action committee formed to oppose the ballot initiative, raised more than $120,000 during its campaign, including $50,000 from the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Some Portland business owners complained the higher wage would force them to cut staff sharply or close down altogether.

Mako Bates, who wrote the proposed wage initiative, and chamber chief executive Chris Hall debated that issue before the election, reported the Bangor Daily News, and sparred on whether most local businesses could support the wage hike, .

"The cost of living is higher than surrounding communities and the minimum wage needs to be higher," said Bates during the debate.

Hall said city council's decision to raise the city's minimum wage to $10.10 in January was a more prudent approach.

"The City Council has chosen a path that is responsible and sustainable," said Hall.

Ethan Strimling, who won Portland's mayor race on Tuesday, opposed the measure along with defeated incumbent Michael Brennan. 

Mayoral challenger Tom MacMillan, who supported the $15 per hour minimum wage, got 10.49 percent of the vote.

Large businesses – those with more than 500 employees nationwide – would have seen the $15 minimum wage increase start in by July 2017, while the phase-in period for smaller businesses would not have been until by July 2019, noted the Press Herald.


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Portland Maine's proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage was rejected by voters on Tuesday, reversing a trend seen cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle,
portland, maine, minimum, wage, rejected
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2015-25-05
Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 10:25 AM
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