Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s forceful advocacy for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has boosted his national profile. Three of his fellow New England governors — Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Peter Shumlin of Vermont — joined President Obama at a rally at Central Connecticut State University today.
“The governors here today…and a governor who couldn’t be here today, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, all are fighting to give hardworking folks in these great New England states a raise of their own,” Obama said. “And they’ve formed a regional coalition to raise the minimum wage. If they succeed in their efforts, New England will have some of the highest minimum wages in the country.”
But one New England governor went unmentioned. Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, recently vetoed a bill that would have raised the state’s current minimum wage of $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour by 2015.
“It is time to aim higher than the minimum,” LePage wrote in his veto letter. “We must create the environment for well-paying careers, to give hard-working families an opportunity to succeed. Mainers deserve more than the minimum and if we give them the opportunity, they will earn it. Let us refocus on lowering energy costs, continuing to streamline and reform regulations, and reducing our tax burden. It is time to move out of 50th place. Quite simply, it is time to put Maine people before politics.”