BALTIMORE (WJZ) — People making minimum wage work many different types of jobs. The federal rate is $7.25 per hour, while in Maryland it’s currently $10.10, but a bill in Annapolis would gradually raise it to $15 an hour by 2023.
“A $15 per hour minimum wage would give almost 600,000 working people a raise and help lift them up from poverty,” said Del. Diana Fennell, who is sponsoring the bill.
Supporters, like Ricarra Jones, call it “The Fight For $15.”
“You can see I’m joined by legislators in both chambers who have heard from their constituents who are struggling to make ends meet in one of the wealthiest states in the country,” Jones added.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan worries a raise for all workers would hurt small businesses, but some who pay more now, find that it pays off.
“Now you have a pleasant, happy person who communicates with customers and reinforces our values,” said Brian English, who owns BA Auto Care in Howard County. “This is good for business, and on top of it, they are less likely to leave.”
The Maryland bill comes at a time of low unemployment and competition for workers. Big employers like Amazon upped its minimum wage to $15 last fall.
Walmart is increasing its minimum wage to $11, while Costco already pays $14, and Target plans to go to $15 an hour by 2020.
If that’s momentum, backers of “Fight for 15” are ready to ride it.