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Governor LePage Hopes Portland Raises Minimum Wage so Restaurants Fail

He believes "all the restaurants in Seattle" are closing because of a wage hike.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Press Herald published an editorial supporting an increase in Portland's minimum wage, which Mayor Michael Brennan has proposed raising from the statewide minimum of $7.50 per hour to $10.68 per hour by 2017. The editorial board noted Governor Paul LePage's tongue-in-cheek support of the plan, based on the urban legend that all Seattle restaurants are shutting down because of that city's wage hike:

"Portland should do it, and then we'll see," he told the attendees at a budget meeting in Cumberland.

The governor repeated a widely discredited talk radio meme that "all the restaurants in Seattle" are closing in anticipation of the city's increase of its minimum wage April 1. Reporting by The Seattle Times has proved that the assertion to be false. [sic]

Eater has a breakdown of Seattle's $15 minimum wage law that the governor might like to peruse when he has a moment. Meanwhile, Portland restaurant owners have argued against raising the tipped minimum wage for servers in the city, which at $3.75 per hour is only slightly above the national minimum.