East Coast Elections 2015

State and local elections were replete with minimum wage ballot issues in a host of venues across the country this week.  We can report on some good results, some not so good, and some activities to be highlighted in the future.  On the positive side of the ledger, the voters in Portland Maine rejected a…

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Minimum Wage Staying in the News

As election day draws closer in municipalities across the country, the issue of raising state and local minimum wages continues to percolate in a number of communities.  In the Philadelphia Mayoral race to be decided next Tuesday, democratic candidate and former city councilor Jim Kenney endorsed increasing the city’s $12 minimum wage to a higher…

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Portland Advances Minimum Wage Ballot Issue

A ballot campaign is now underway after the Portland Maine City Council placed a ballot initiative, sponsored by the “Portland Green Independent Committee” on the ballot for the November election.  “An Ordinance Toward a Living Wage”, which will appear on the Portland ballot will ask voters to establish a local minimum wage of $15/hour starting…

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Maine Governor Champions Citizen Petition

Maine Governor Paul LePage joined the Maine republican party to announce an effort to couple welfare cuts with a proposal to eliminate the state income tax in a citizen petition on the November ballot.  Maine is one of a few states that actually allow multiple topics to be included in one citizen initiative ballot petition,…

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Bangor Endorses Minimum Wage Petition

Following a committee vote last week, on a 6-1 vote, the Bangor city council endorsed an initiative petition being pushed by the left-leaning Maine Peoples Alliance that will increase the state minimum wage to $12/hour by 2020 and subsequently index the wage to inflation.  The petition is slated to be on the November 2016 ballot. …

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Minimum Wages Cutting Both Ways

In Kansas City, the city council approved a city minimum wage, notwithstanding the general assembly passing a ban on local minimum wages.  The statewide bill is still in limbo however, as it was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon earlier this month.  The General Assembly is expected to take a vote on overriding his veto in…

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Maine Restricts Employer Social Media Policies

Along a similar line, the state of Maine put in place a social media privacy law for both public and private employers.  The new law, which will take effect on October 15 of this year, prohibits an employer from requiring and employee/applicant to disclose their personal social media accounts or add anyone to their list…

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House Blocks GMO Labeling by States –

The US House last week passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.1599) preempting states from requiring the mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  House passage comes as more states are entertaining the mandatory labelling of GMOs.  A major concern with state mandates is the impossible task that food manufacturers would…

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Watch Out What You Ask For . . .

Bringing the old adage to life, the city of Portland Maine is now wondering how to fix the minimum wage debacle they unleashed just one week earlier when the city council voted to enact an ill-advised and poorly written ordinance to create a minimum wage in excess of the state minimum.  Portland passed an ordinance…

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Bangor Looks To Follow Portland

The Bangor City Council apparently likes what it sees in Portland, as it is similarly entertaining an ordinance that would phase in increases to the minimum wage in that city from the current $7.50/hour minimum to $9.75/hour over the next two years.  The Bangor City Council has scheduled a vote on Councilor Joe Baldacci’s proposal…

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