Increases to state minimum wages will be taking effect in a host of states across the country come the New Year, but Maine Governor Paul LePage has made it clear that his state Department of Labor will not begin enforcing the newly voter-approved minimum wage of $9.00 per hour until January 31.  The law, which mandates a $12 minimum by 2020 up from the current state minimum of $7.50 and phases out a separate minimum wage for tipped workers, is technically scheduled to become effective January 7.  LePage has been a long-time, vocal opponent of the increase.  Earlier this month, he asked the legislature to change the law, which he said will cause a “death spiral” for elderly residents. Notwithstanding, the city of Portland has its own local minimum wage, pegged at $10.68 effective January 1.