AUGUSTA — Republican legislators, stung by Democratic criticism of their proposal to allow minors to work longer hours at reduced wages, have introduced a compromise bill: the return of indentured servitude.
“Call me old-fashioned, but I still think $5.25 an hour is a lot of money for a snot-nosed kid,” said Rep. David Burns, sponsor of the original legislation. “Flipping burgers isn’t rocket science. Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues didn’t see it that way.”
Under the new Republican proposal, participating 16-year-olds would be housed, for a period of three years, in a barracks behind selected Taco Bells and other fast-food establishments. When these minors weren’t sleeping, eating, studying, or going to school, they would work.
“I see this as a win-win situation,” said Burns. “The youngsters will learn to be responsible, and the restaurants will have finally have a use for all the chicken nuggets and burritos they’ve been throwing out every night. Teenagers love that stuff.”
Gov. Paul LePage is expected to endorse the new proposal.