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Fair Wage Act heads to Governor's desk, increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Apr 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-05 21:31:52-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The fight for 15 is over in Maryland as the Fair wage act passing pushes the timeline to reach $15 an hour up to the start of next year.

Governor Wes Moore introduced the bill.

Now, it's missing a key piece that tied the minimum wage to the consumer price index.

"It's huge for working families and for the economy as a whole," said Trap Jervey, with the Fight for 15 Coalition.

Moore mentioned how proud he is the bill passed despite not including the indexing he fought so hard for during his testimony in committee.

"We think that being able to add the indexing in is not only good for the workers but it's also good for the workers," said Governor Moore.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce came out against the bill saying it could lead to job cuts and a loss in hours for some workers.

While advocates celebrate the increase, low wage workers will get to help their families.

"About 120,000 children live in the households that will see pay increases so that's really important for the economic security of those kids," said Kali Schumitz, with the Maryland Center on Economic Policy.

According to the Center on Economic Policy, the $15 minimum wage will be worth less than the current minimum wage in five years.

It means the fight for 15 becomes the fight for an even higher minimum wage.

"That's what needs to be done to keep low wage workers in their homes and to afford all the necessities of life," said Jervey.

The governor's office sent WMAR-2 News the following statement:

Accelerating raising Maryland’s minimum wage was one of the governor’s biggest campaign promises, and on Jan. 1 nearly 156,000 Marylanders will be brought up to the next rung of the economic ladder.. Not only does this bill raise wages throughout the state, but as law it will also reduce child poverty throughout Maryland. The governor looks forward to signing the Fair Wage Act and putting Maryland on track to being a state that leaves no one behind.