Maryland General Assembly passes $15 minimum wage bill

Posted at 2:53 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 10:18:56-04

The Maryland General Assembly has passed a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Most businesses will have until January 1, 2025 to make the change, and small businesses with 14 or fewer employees have until July 1, 2026.

"The Maryland legislature recognized that we need to do better by working families in Maryland and raise the wage floor," said Ricarra Jones of the Fight for $15 Coalition. "We are thrilled Maryland is joining other states that are fighting for fair pay so that hard-working residents don't have to continue to struggle to support their children while working several jobs. We hope Governor Hogan does not turn his back on the working class and signs this bill."

The bill passed the Maryland House of Delegates with a 93-41 vote and the Senate with a 32-13 vote, which are both veto-proof majorities.

The legislation will now to go Hogan's desk to sign, even though he has recently criticized the bill. Since the bill reached his desk at least six days before Sine Dine, he is required to act on time for the General Assembly to override a potential veto.

Advocates for the bill say this legislation will help working families in Maryland, but critics say it will actually drive out jobs that don't make at least $35,000 a year and it could be problematic.