Bill would increase Maine minimum wage to $8.50

Maine lawmakers are taking up a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour beginning Oct. 1, and to make annual adjustments for inflation starting in October 2014. The sponsor, Representative Scott Hamann, Democrat of South Portland, told the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee Thursday that Maine’s minimum wage has not been increased for four years. Maine’s current minimum wage is $7.50 per hour, 25 cents higher than the federal standard. The Labor Committee also heard testimony on a bill requiring the state to buy American-made products.