It seems a week can’t go by without some new minimum wage activity being in the forefront somewhere. This week’s news brings us back to the state of Maine, where advocates have succeeded in placing a minimum wage increase on the ballot this November, but that’s yesterday’s news. This week, a broad coalition of business interests have moved forward to sponsor their own minimum wage increase for the November ballot – and Maine Governor Paul LePage has endorsed their effort. Within Article IV of the Maine State Constitution, there is a provision often called the ‘competing measure option’ which allows for conflicting questions to be placed on the ballot and for the voters to select one or reject them both. The initial proposal, put forth by the Maine People’s Alliance among others, calls for the current $7.50 minimum to increase to $9 in 2017 and then annually to $12/hour in 2020. That proposal is already cleared for the ballot. This week, a coalition of businesses submitted a ballot initiative that would increase the current $7.50 minimum to $8.50 in 2017 and $.50 increases thereafter to $10/hour by 2020. For the 2nd option to make the ballot, the legislature will have to vote to place it before the voters. As the old theater saying goes, “It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings!” Elsewhere in Maine, the South Portland ban on foam food/beverage containers and plastic bags became effective on Tuesday of this week. South Portland joins Portland as the only two cities that have imposed the ban, but others have it under consideration – another rippling initiative!