Governor Mills Signs Executive Order to Pursue Minimum Wage for Farm Workers


Governor Janet T. Mills (D) Appearing on a CNN Television Morning Show During the Governor’s Winter Conference in Washington, DC. Earlier This Year.

Governor Janet T. Mills (D), the first woman governor of Maine, signed an Executive Order to pursue a minimum wage for farm workers it was announced this afternoon by her office.  This action follows the Legislature sustained her veto of LD 358.

The Execuive Order establishes a formal stakeholder group – the Committee to Develop and Implement a Minimum Wge Bill for Agricultural Workers – to develop legislation that will implement a minimum  wage for agricultural workers, identify the impacts of the bill will have through other laws interconnected with Federal and State wage and hour laws and ensure the full range of impacts are thoroughly understood by both agricultural employers and their workers.

“I strongly support a state minimum wage for farm workers and am committed to signing one into law,” said Governor Mills.  “This stakeholder group will allow for a longer and more in-depth analysis of the language of LD 398, resolve questions within the agricultural community about what the bill does and does not do and what aspects of farm employment it may change and help all parties arrive at a shared understanding so that we can move forward with and implement a farm worker minimum wage next year.”

The Governor’s Executive Order fulfills a promise to estabilish a formal stakeholder group after her veto of LD 398 last week.  The Governor vetoed the bill reluctantly following “a series of questions from members of the agricultural community about the true scope of the language.”

The Co-chairs of the Committee shall be the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Commissioner of the Department of Labor, or their designees.  The Attorney General is requeted to provide legal assistance to the Committee, within available resources.

The Committee shall submit a summary of its assessment process, findings and any corresponding recommendations to the Governor on or before December 1, 2023.