ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A measure to raise Maryland’s minimum wage has advanced in the House of Delegates.

“It’s been a long time coming now it’s about to happen,” said Prince George’s County Del. Diana Fennell (D).

The House gave the bill preliminary approval on Wednesday. Delegates may vote on the legislation this week. The measure would then go to the Senate.

The measure would raise the minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 in increments by 2025.

It would first rise to $11 at the start of next year. It would then go up 75 cents each year to $14 in 2024, before reaching $15 in 2025.

“Clearly I think the bill is going to pass. We worked very hard to present a bill that is equitable not only to people asking the minimum wage hike but also to the businesses because its our obligation to protect everyone. We want to make sure they can still hire people,” said Charles County Del. C.T. Wilson (D).

Economist Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group said the impact on business is a legitimate concern.

“And just as many people live from paycheck to paycheck, many businesses live from payroll to payroll and we don’t want to have businesses fail just because that causes more unemployment and that’s just not where we want to head,” Basu said.

Supporters said all that has been taken into consideration.

“We waited, we were able to see that $10.10 didn’t kill people now the goal is the 15 and hopefully we can preserve not only the people who need extra income but also the businesses that support them,” Wilson said.

That vote is expected Friday.

The House also has cut out a provision that would have automatically increased the minimum wage to keep up with inflation.

Democrats who control the General Assembly have made the measure a priority for this legislative session.

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