At its meeting of December 12, 2016, the Bangor City Council voted to postpone the effective date of the City’s minimum wage ordinance that had been approved in December of 2015. Citing the passage of the state minimum wage changes which takes affect the 7th of January, the Council acknowledged that the State minimum wage increase went further than the City’s in increasing wages in Bangor and throughout the state. The City minimum wage, which was to go into effect on January 1st, would have increased the minimum wage in the City of Bangor to $8.25 an hour. However, passage of the State minimum wage changes, set to go into effect on January 7th, will increase the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Because the new state minimum wage is higher than that in the City’s ordinance employers must follow the state law, not the City’s ordinance.
Because the City’s minimum wage ordinance would only be in effect for 6 days, the Council wanted to minimize confusion with which minimum wage, state or City, is in effect and to avoid additional accounting work for the business community in Bangor. Council Chair Joe Baldacci stated that “The City is pleased that the state minimum wage passed and that all Mainers get to enjoy higher wages, not just those working in Bangor.” Citing concerns about how the state might handle future implementation of the minimum wage, and whether the law as approved by the voters might be amended by the legislature, the Council voted to move the effective date of the City’s ordinance from January 1 to July 1, 2017. This will allow the City to continue to have a minimum wage ordinance in place while the City Council monitors events at the state level.