AUGUSTA – A legislative panel will start considering a bill to soften the minimum wage hike approved by voters in 2016.

Republicans and some business groups have pushed to reverse a law they argue will harm Maine’s economy in the long-term. Lawmakers last year agreed to remove the voter-approved minimum wage hike for tipped employees.

But much of the law remains in effect, while other voter-approved laws have been stymied or blocked.

Republican Rep. Joel Stetkis’ bill would cut Maine’s minimum wage from $10 per hour to $9.50 per hour. Stetkis represents House District 105, which includes Cambridge, Canaan, Hartland, Palmyra, Ripley and St. Albans.

An online summary of the legislation says it would create a youth minimum wage and a training minimum age for 18- to 20-year- olds.

The bill also eliminates cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage.

His bill was set for a Wednesday hearing.

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