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Legislators oppose lower minimum wage for young workers

Votes also taken on banning SATs, making election day a holiday
By Stephen Betts | May 29, 2021

Augusta — Local legislators were busy May 19 with a series of roll-call votes in the Maine Legislature, including on whether to make election day a state holiday, whether to prohibit the state from using the SATs to assess students' performances, and whether to create a lower minimum wage for younger workers.

The House voted May 19 to reject the alternate minimum wage bill — LD 1047. The vote was 80 to 64 against the bill. There was no Senate vote on the bill.

The bill would have created a $9.75 minimum wage for students younger than 20 years old or non-students younger than 18 starting Jan. 1, 2022. There would then be annual increases based on the cost of living.

The current Maine minimum wage is $12.15 per hour.

All local House members voted against the bill. Voting against it were Democratic Reps. Valli Geiger of Rockland, Vicki Doudera of Camden, Ann Matlack of St. George and Genevieve McDonald of Stonington; and independent Reps. Jeffrey Evangelos of Friendship and William Pluecker of Warren.

SATs

The Maine House voted 87-58 on May 19 to approve LD 277 which would prohibit the Maine Department of Education from using the Scholastic Assessment Test to assess student performance. The state education department would also be required to come up with an alternative method to assess students.

The Senate has not voted on the bill.

All local legislators voted for the legislation.

Election Day holiday

The Senate voted May 19 to reject LD 296 which would have made election day a state holiday.

The vote against the bill were 19 to 14.

The Midcoast's three state senators — Democratic Sens. David Miramant of Camden, Chloe Maxmin of Nobleboro and Chip Curry of Belfast. — voted for the bill.

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