Notwithstanding the lesson from the impending Wal-Mart closings (and what might have caused them), state and local officials continue to look to mandate low-income workers into prosperity by increasing the minimum wage.  Advocates in the state of Maine have succeeded in securing the required number of signatures to place a question on the November ballot seeking to increase the minimum to $12/hour by 2020.  The “Mainers for Fair Wages” campaign, needing 61,123 signatures to qualify for the ballot, submitted over 76,000 signatures to the Secretary of State this past week.   Republican Governor Paul LePage has consistently opposed increasing the state minimum as being too costly to business.  He is also embroiled in a public battle with the city of Portland by contending that its local minimum wage of $10.10 per hour violates federal law in its impact on tipped workers (the tipped worker minimum is still at $3.75).  And, at the local level, in his State of the City speech, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the creation of an ad hoc task force to study the possibility of a $15 minimum wage. In Massachusetts, the minimum wage was just increased to $10/hour effective January 1st and will go to $11 in 2017.