Maryland Senate Passes “Fight for 15” Minimum Wage Bill

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On Wednesday, the Maryland State Senate passed legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by 2025, in a 32-13 vote along party lines.

The bill, which has already passed in the House of Delegates calls for a gradual, incremental increase in the State’s minimum wage over the next six years. Currently, the state’s minimum wage is 10.10 an hour, one of the highest in the region.

Senator Mary Beth Carozza, a Republican representing the State’s Lower Eastern Shore proposed an amendment that would increase the minimum wage, albeit less than 15 dollars an hour to just over 14 dollars an hour, with the caveat of slower incremental growth for small employers.

Governor Larry Hogan has expressed disapproval of a minimum wage hike saying an increase would hurt small “mom and pop businesses” which he says could lead to the “elimination of 9,000 jobs for the very people who need them the most.” He said it would also lead to a reversal of “nearly all of the positive job creation… that we have worked so hard to achieve.” ¬†Although the Governor disapproves of the legislation and would likely veto it, Democrats in the state legislature hold a veto-proof majority, meaning they have the ability to pass legislation even if the Governor vetoes it.