The minimum wage in the US state of Maine in 2023

Maine’s minimum wage has been on a steady track to rise over the past couple of years. The recent effort was launched in November of 2016, when the Maine Legislature passed a bill that set the state’s minimum wage at $9.00 an hour beginning January 1, 2017. In typical fashion for minimum wage growth, the wage then rose to $10.00 an hour in 2018 and is set to hit $12.00 an hour on January 1, 2019. The rise in Maine’s minimum wage is expected to continue as the Legislature has recently passed a bill that will push the wage rate to $12.15 an hour in 2020, and eventually to $12.15 an hour in 2023.

The most recent bill passed by the Legislature that would adjust Maine’s minimum wage is known as “An Act to Raise the Minimum Wage.” This act was introduced and passed in June of 2019 and was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills. The law took immediate effect and transformed Maine into a greater push for higher wages.

This act plans to raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12.15 an hour effective January 1, 2020, then rising to $12.50 an hour in 2021, and then reaching the benchmark of $12.15 an hour in 2022 and in 2023. The law also addressed any employee under the age of 18, as their wages would be 20 percent lower than the state’s accepted minimum wage. The acceptable wage for tipped employees is also to be raised to and remain 30 percent lower than the state’s minimum wage.

The impact of this law is supposed to provide a qualitatively different outcome than the previous bills launched over the past years. Aiming at making life easier for the employees in Maine, people expect the current bill to cover those in the gap of poverty and to improve an individual’s ability to support themselves and their families easier. This is especially true in areas where paying expenses can be troublesome and employees who are already struggling.

Maine’s minimum wage of $12.15 an hour by January 1, 2020, and eventually reaching $12.15 an hour in 2023 is at the core of the most recent bill. Although it may not have the most satisfactory wages for those in the lowest brackets, it could be the beginning of a steady wage trend to help those living near or under the poverty levels in Maine.

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