The Senate voted 32-15 Thursday to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
Both the House and Senate made significant changes to the bills. The House delayed full implementation from 2023 to 2025. It also exempted some workers. The Senate version gives companies with fewer than 15 employees until 2028 to raise the minimum wage.
The changes aren’t enough to satisfy Gov. Larry Hogan. He offered a compromise to raise the minimum to $12.10 an hour by 2022. He also wanted lawmakers to wait to increase it until surrounding states raise their rates.
Senate debate in support and in opposition followed party lines. Democrats favored the bill, and Republicans were against it.
“What this bill does is it says to them, ‘Thanks for taking our least employable because we know that you’re going to have problems, you’re going to have very high job turnover rate, you’re going to have discipline problems. This is going to be tough for you,'” said Sen. Robert Cassilly, R-Harford County.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people in Maryland who earn the minimum wage and are kids. They’re people who have kids. They’re people who are raising families,” said Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.
The next step in the process is for the House and Senate to hammer out the differences between their bills.