Author: Joe Horvath and Ben Wilterdink

Joe Horvath is a Maine Wire contributor and research analyst for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Center for State Fiscal Reform. Ben Wilterdink serves as the Director of Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development for ALEC. Learn more about ALEC at

Maine’s third-largest industry is tourism. At a size of approximately $2.2 billion and more than 85,000 jobs tied to the hotel and restaurant-heavy sector, Maine’s economy would be heavily impacted by an increase to the minimum wage. The case for minimum wage has been made ad nauseum: people are not earning enough money, so the legislature should give them a pay increase. The unintended consequences of drastic increases to the minimum wage, however, are hardly ever examined. Most often businesses are forced to reduce hours or lay off employees, many of whom were already working minimum wage jobs to begin…

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