AUGUSTA – A group of Maine residents submitted their application today to begin gathering signatures for a citizen-initiated referendum.
Intended for the 2016 ballot, the referendum would raise the minimum wage from $7.50 to $9.00 an hour in 2017, and then by a dollar each year until 2020. That would get the minimum wage up to $12.00 an hour.
Supporters of the effort say working people deserve fair wages, and that the cost of basics have gone up for years while Mainers incomes have remained stagnant.
Those who oppose say it would be devastating to small businesses, and that the added cost for employers would translate into higher costs for consumers.
The referendum will now need 60,000 signatures from Maine voters.