PORTLAND, Maine — Portland is one big step closer to a higher minimum wage. Thursday night, the City Council’s finance committee voted to endorse a plan to create a citywide minimum wage.
The compromise deal would bump Portland’s minimum wage up to $8.75 an hour, $1.25 more than the current state minimum.
The plan has other increases mapped out in the future as well.
The bump was less than Mayor Michael Brennan was hoping for, but still an increase. Brennan’s initial plan was to implement a $9.50 per hour minimum wage by July 1.
“It is different than what was proposed. I’m glad the finance committee finally got an opportunity to take action,” Brennan said. “I’m glad it was taken up, and we had a thorough discussion, and that there was a turnout from the public to talk about it.”
Opponents against the plan say it will hurt small business owners and raise the prices of everyday products.
Next, the plan will go to the full City Council.
Elsewhere in the city, the local Green Independent Committee is pursuing a referendum that would place the Portland minimum wage at $15 per hour. At the state level, the left-leaning Maine People’s Alliance is collecting petition signatures to support a referendum establishing a $12-per-hour minimum wage across Maine.
Portland Bureau Chief Seth Koenig contributed to this story.