Senate Passes Minimum Wage Legislation

Six Flags Amusement Park, Prince George’s County

As written in the Maryland Reporter, the Senate voted 34-13 on Saturday to gradually increase the minimum wage to $10.10 over the next four years. HB295 – Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 now returns to the House of Delegates for action on substantial changes made by the Senate Finance Committee on the exemptions.

As reported, the full Senate amended the bill slightly from the version passed by the Senate Finance Committee,

Of the more than 20 amendments introduced by Senate members during debate Friday and Saturday, only one was accepted, which would set the pay for employees working at amusement parks at 85% of the minimum wage. Amusement parks were initially immune to the proposed minimum wage laws in the bill. Parks could have paid their employees the  federal minimum wage of $7.25. Legislators came to call this the “Six Flags” provision, because it primarily benefits the popular theme park located in Prince George’s County.

The bill passed by the Senate also allows employers to pay employees under the age of twenty 85% of the minimum wage for the first six months of their employment and maintains an exception to the minimum wage for tipped workers.

For more information, see the full story from the Maryland Reporter and our previous post on Conduit Street, Senate Finance Committee Approves Move to $10.10 Minimum Wage