When I moved away from Maine to take a job in Minnesota last year, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t have a chance to vote to support the referendum to raise the minimum wage. Fortunately, over 400,000 Mainers felt the same way about the ballot question that I did, and I’m glad to see that it passed.

It was not surprising to see that Gov. LePage and Republicans want to undermine voters and roll back the minimum-wage increase. It seems like they are particularly focused on the increase of the subminimum wage for servers, arguing that raising the subminimum wage from $3.75 to $5 this year is going to cause people to stop tipping their servers.

It’s a silly argument when you think about it. When you travel and go out to eat in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, do you tip a different amount because those servers are paid slightly differently? I doubt it.

As someone who now lives in a state where there is no separate subminimum wage for servers (the minimum wage is $9.50 an hour for large employers, grossing at least $500,000 a year), let me set the record straight: The sky hasn’t fallen. Restaurants are still in business, and servers are still getting tips. The only difference is that they’re also being paid a fair base wage instead of relying on people’s tips for the bulk of their paycheck.

I think that’s fair, and I believe that’s what Maine voters supported at the ballot box last November.

Melissa Tozier

St. Paul, Minnesota


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