Governor Hogan vetoes $15 minimum wage bills

Posted at 7:58 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 07:52:37-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has vetoed two bills related to increasing the minimum wage of Maryland to $15 an hour.

The reason behind the Governor's decision to veto Senate Bill 280 and House Bill 166 was in an effort to protect Maryland jobs and the economy.

"It could cost us jobs, negatively impact our economic competitiveness, and devastate our state’s economy,” said Governor Hogan.

Hogan says the minimum wage increase would cost Maryland 99,000 jobs while pushing small businesses out of the state. He also believes Maryland's increase in wage could be too much for the state's economy to bear.

“Small businesses faced with the choice between a $7.25 wage in Virginia or $15 in Maryland will be forced to create jobs in the lower cost location and possibly reduce jobs or eliminate operations in Maryland," said Governor Hogan.

Maryland Chamber of Commerce and CEO Christine Ross released a statement on the Governor's veto of Maryland's $15 minimum wage. During their fight to oppose the bill and hearing from member businesses, she believes the increase would have harmed the same people it wanted to support.

“We’ve heard first hand that the $15 minimum wage increase would impact thousands of businesses across the state,” said Ross. “Instead of threatening jobs, losing businesses and risking the competitiveness of Maryland, we need to focus on job training and workforce development. It’s the most meaningful way to permanently and positively impact the lives of those that have economic and social challenges.”

The State Director of NFIB, which represents many small businesses in state, also released a statement on the vetoed legislation:

“This was the right thing to do. Saddling Maryland small businesses with a 48 percent increase in labor costs after a 39 percent increase in the last four years will be extremely tough to manage and for some impossible. Fortunately, the Governor heard the pleas from our members and recognized the unintended consequences of such legislation."

Governor Hogan says he provided the General Assembly with several other options that would have increased the minimum wage that would not have negatively impacted jobs and businesses in Maryland.

Each version of the bill has passed with a veto proof majority. This would allow for the bills to be sent for another vote by the General Assembly who will have the opportunity to override the governor's decision.

To learn more about the Governor's reason to veto the legislation, click here.