ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — A measure to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 in 2025 has been approved by the House of Delegates.
The House voted 96-44 Friday for the bill. It now goes to the Senate.
The House gave the bill preliminary approval on Wednesday. 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 and would then go up 75 cents each year to $14 in 2024, before reaching $15 in 2025.
Supporters say it’s needed for people who make minimum wage to cover basic necessities.
Others believe the measure would kill jobs and cause small businesses to suffer throughout the state.
Mike O’Halloran, Maryland state director of the National Federation of Independent Business had this to say:
“The small business community has been clear that this minimum wage legislation will be devastating for them. This is a 48 percent increase that significantly raises labor costs. It comes on the heels of a 39 percent increase over the past four years.
“Not only will many small businesses be affected, but many employees will also be hurt as hours are cut and jobs are eliminated. For the sake of our members and their workers, we hope an economic model showing a loss of 99,000 jobs does not come to fruition, but the testimony and experience in other states tells us that will be the case.”
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 this year.
(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)