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Baldacci says it’s time for the city to raise minimum wage

From FOX News by Karina Bolster

BANGOR – A Bangor city councilor says it’s time for the city to raise the minimum wage.Just this morning, councilor Joe Baldacci submitted a proposed ordinance to raise the minimum wage in the city.He says there are plenty of Bangor workers who would benefit from the ordinance.

“It’s estimated that 35,000 people, six percent of the state’s workforce, is in Bangor,” Baldacci says. “The percentage that would be affected by this would probably be around two or three thousand people. It’s still a very significant number of workers in Bangor.

Baldacci’s proposal calls for a graduated increase, starting with seventy-five-cents in 2016.

“So 2016 would be $8.25, 2017 would be $9.00, 2018 would be $9.75, and then after that it would be indexed to inflation,” Baldacci says.

The city councilor is passionate about the minimum wage issue, saying pay for entry-level workers has not kept up with the cost of living.

“In 1966 the minimum wage in Maine was $1.25 an hour,” Baldacci says. “If we index that to inflation, that would be almost ten bucks an hour today.”

He says he knows he will face some opposition. He hopes to hold public forums on the issue before the council addresses it.

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