Low-income workers, young people, labor advocates, small business owners and others argued before a packed legislative hearing on Wednesday that the bill backed by Governor Paul LePage to reduce Maine’s minimum wage is not only counter to the wishes of Maine voters but would severely impact their lives. Fair pay advocates also cited employment and wage statistics over the past year as proof that the first minimum wage increase in eight years in Maine has benefited the state’s economy.
As small business owners, we advocate for policies that promote responsible economic development, environmental stewardship, and investment in community. We are the backbone of Maine’s economy, and we help provide a political voice for Maine’s small business community. We believe that good economic policy works both for small business owners and the customers they serve.
This article originally appeared on Maine Beacon.
More than 150 Maine small businesses have now publicly endorsed a “Yes” vote on Question 2, the ballot measure to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid. Members of the Maine Small Business Coalition gathered at the Hyatt Place Portland hotel yesterday to announce their support for the referendum, which they say would create an economic boost for the state.
As congressional Republicans are launching one more effort to deprive millions of Americans of needed health care, they are also ramping up efforts to slash vital public programs in order to fund a massive tax cut for the wealthy.
At the top of the list for cuts are the environmental protection agencies that keep our families healthy, keep our state's air and water clean, and fight back against the devastation caused by climate change.
On November 7, voters will have the chance to expand health care for 70,000 Mainers. As small business owners, we know that when the communities we serve have access to health care, we all do better. Accepting federal money to provide health care for working Mainers is a smart move for the people of this state and makes smart financial sense.