I am concerned about the current proposal in the Maine Legislature to modify the ballot initiative approved by Maine voters in 2016 to increase the minimum wage in our state from a mere $7.50 an hour to $9 and, eventually, in 2020, to $12 an hour.

Having worked in New York’s criminal justice system for over 35 years, I have seen firsthand the difficult struggles of the poor who try to subsist and raise children on a minimum wage. The cycle of poverty continues as people try hard but lack the means to support their families.

Why is there an attempt among some of our lawmakers to subvert the voters’ decision? Since 2016 more than 159,000 workers saw a pay increase for the first time in eight years. Although some businesses express concern, the higher employment figures which have resulted have been good for Maine’s growing economy.

Let’s encourage our state senators and representatives to continue to honor our vote and to continue to improve the economy of our state and the quality of life for its people.

Judy Johnson


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