Portland Greens Condemn State Interference in Local Wage Laws

Portland Greens Condemn State Interference in Local Wage Laws; Governor’s bill seeks to ban municipalities from regulating wages

 PORTLAND- The Portland Chapter of the Maine Greens condemns a bill submitted on behalf of Governor Paul LePage which seeks to allow state government to interfere with municipal wage laws in the wake of the growing national movement in Portland and elsewhere to reset the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

 L.D. 1361, submitted by Senator Andre Cushing on behalf of Governor Paul LePage, seeks to ban municipalities from regulating minimum wage laws within their jurisdictions.

 “This is unwanted state intrusion into the affairs of municipalities” said Tom MacMillan, chair of the Portland Greens. “We are petitioning for a Living Wage, something the state won’t even consider. Working people should not live in poverty, yet Governor LePage is trying to block Portland voters from exercising their democratic rights under the Maine Constitution”.

 The Portland Greens view this bill as a pointless and backwards regulation which undermines Maine’s home-rule system. Home-rule is the principal whereby towns in Maine can enact any law that doesn’t contradict a State law. It allows Maine communities to take control on issues such as an insufficient federal or state minimum wage by passing their own regulations without waiting for action from a gridlocked legislature.

 The Maine Green Independent Party supports the decentralization of power as one of its 10 key values. This bill calls for the centralization of power into the hands of big government. The Greens call on voters of all stripes to reject this unwanted intrusion and assert their right to decide for themselves, on the local level, what is and is not best for their communities.

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