Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the same man who ordered the removal of a mural depicting American workers from a state office building, this week signed into law a bill that should please the business community. It allows 16- and 17-year-olds — who make considerably less than older co-workers — to work longer hours and later into the evening on school nights. — ARK

The Huffington Post:

The law boosts the maximum amount of hours a 16- or 17-year-old can work during the school year from 20 to 24 hours per week. It also raises the per-day limit from four hours to six, and allows children to work until 10:15 p.m. on school nights.

… [Democratic State Rep. Timothy] Driscoll … said he never really believed the Republican line that the bill was aimed at giving youngsters more work experience, noting that his suspicions grew during a state labor committee hearing on the proposed bill back in March.

… Instead, as Driscoll recalls, there were a representative from the Maine Restaurant Association, a representative from the Maine Innkeepers Association and a stakeholder from a Maine amusement park called Funtown Splashtown USA. Driscoll pointed out that restaurants, inns and amusement parks tend to rely on low-priced teen labor and would have an interest in seeing children allowed to work more hours.

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