AUGUSTA – A Maine legislative committee has endorsed a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2018.

The Labor, Research, Commerce and Economic Development Committee voted 7-3 in favor of an amended version of Democratic Rep. Dillon Bates’ bill on Thursday. It would raise the $7.50 minimum wage to $8 this October and then by 50 cents every year until 2018.

Three lawmakers supported a version put forward by Assistant Republican Senate Leader Andre Cushing that would similarly raise the wage by 50 cents a year, but stop at $9. His version would also change the work rules for minors to allow young people to work more hours and prohibit municipalities from enacting a local minimum wage increase.

The measures will now head to the full House and Senate.


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