AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage is calling the minimum wage bill that awaits final disposition a job killer.
In his weekly radio address, the Republican governor says the bill to hike Maine’s minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2016 and then automatically adjust it for inflation each year after that has a cost. To absorb the cost of higher wages, LePage says, businesses will hire fewer workers and increase prices on their products and services. And he says consumers will pay that cost.
The governor says raising the minimum wage will take jobs away from students trying to save money for college and senior citizens on fixed incomes.
Democrats who support the minimum wage increase say the current minimum, $7.50 an hour, hasn’t changed since 2009 and has not kept up with rising prices.