The Maryland Senate today passed a bill raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, sending the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk.
Sponsored by Baltimore Sen. Cory McCray, the bill would require companies with more than 15 employees to raise wages by the 2025 deadline. Smaller businesses would have an extra year to hit that mark.
Activist groups hailed the legislative win as a victory for for working families.
“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,” Ricarra Jones of the Fight for $15 Coalition said in a statement. “We hope Governor Hogan does not turn his back on the working class and signs this bill.”
Progressive Maryland celebrated the bill’s passage, but also cautioned that it left out young employees, agricultural workers and tipped workers. Tipped employees, such as waiters and bartenders, will have their hourly pay stuck at $3.63 per hour, and farm hands and employees under 18 who are in training programs are left out.
“Though raising the minimum wage to $15 is a win for working families, this victory is sullied by the triumph of the business lobby who advocated with legislators and leadership for these subminimum wages, leaving thousands of workers behind,” executive director Larry Stafford said in a statement.
Previously, Hogan has said he does not support raising the wage to $15 per hour, saying it would hurt the competitiveness of local business and “harm our state’s economy.” He proposed raising Maryland’s minimum wage from $10.10 per hour to $12.10.
As The Sun notes, the House of Delegates and Senate passed two versions of the bill and had to reconcile differences in future state funding for agencies that have said they need more money to increase their employees’ wages.
The House voted 93-41 to pass the bill, and the Senate voted 32-13. Both are veto-proof majorities, meaning lawmakers will have the necessary votes to override a potential veto from the governor.