In an email sent to media, Councilor Jon Hinck stated that he, Councilor Justin Costa and Mayor Brennan will introduce an amendment to the minimum wage proposal that came out of the Council’s Finance Committee at the public hearing on Monday, July 6th.
Mayor Brennan started the process of raising the minimum wage with a task force that began meeting over a year ago. The task force recommended a $10.10 minimum wage by this July, and a raise to $10.68 by 2017.
The task forces recommendation went to the Finance Committee in April. The Committee removed provisions from the recommendation that would raise the wage for tipped employees and young workers. The Committee also dropped the clause that would tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index, a proposal that would have tied the minimum wage to inflation.
The Committee also lowered the raise to $8.75, and it would only reach $9.75 per hour by 2020.
Councilors Hinck and Costa, with Mayor Brennan, will seek to amend the Finance Committee’s proposal to get it closer to the original one made by the Mayor after his task force.
“This amendment represents our best effort to incorporate what we have learned through this process, and to achieve the best outcome for the City and its residents,” said Councilor Hinck in an email. “Portland’s minimum wage workers deserve a raise and it’s our hope that with Council approval this will happen in the new year.”
Specifically, the amendment provides that beginning January 1st, 2016, the minimum wage would be raised to $10.10 per hour. Then in 2017, the minimum wage would be raised to $10.68 per hour; and then beginning on every first day of July starting in 2018, and every first day of July thereafter, the minimum wage would be increased according to the Consumer Price Index.
Meanwhile, the Portland Green Independent Committee has collected enough signatures to put a $15 minimum wage initiative on the ballot this November. And the Maine People’s Alliance and Maine AFL-CIO are collecting signatures for a statewide $12 minimum wage.