In July, Maryland’s minimum wage is set to increase to $9.25, with another increase set to follow in July of 2018, which would increase the minimum wage to $10.10. Many low-wage workers argue that the rate, with the increase is still unlivable.
Just this week, the Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval to a measure that would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2022. The bill advanced by a 12-3 margin and a final vote by the council could come as early as March 20. The bill will be sent to the desk of Mayor Catherine Pugh, if it passes in the council.
Pugh has previously voiced concerns about how wage hikes could push businesses out of Baltimore City to surrounding counties. There is still the question whether she will veto the legislation or sign off on it.
Under the measure, companies with more than 50 employees would be required to increase the hourly wage of low-wage workers 21 and older to $15 by 2022.
In the meantime, there is a move in the General Assembly to increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $15. The first increase for Maryland workers occurred in 2015, at which time the minimum wage increased from $7.25 to $8 an hour. Today, the state minimum wage is $8.75, while the ‘Fight for 15’ continues.
Montgomery County also passed its own legislation to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour, but County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed it.
Another bill was introduced this session that would prevent local jurisdictions from setting their own minimum wage. This measure would take the decision away from the county executives and place it on the governor’s desk.