The Maine legislature succeeded at last this week in thwarting Governor Paul LePage and his effort to repeal the state income tax.  LePage has been pushing for a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the income tax (put in place in 1967) and replace its funding with increases to the state sales tax.  The Maine Senate rejected the idea this past week in a mostly party-line vote (one democrat joined republicans to support the bill) and essentially killed the initiative for the current session.  In other legislative action in Maine, the democratically-controlled House also went in a different direction than the governor last week when it passed an increase in the minimum wage, bumping it up a total of $2 to $9.50/hour by 2018, in a largely partisan 81 – 67 vote.  A number of local communities have initiated local legislative initiative to increase the minimum wage.