$15 Minimum Wage, Slowed and Amended, Moves to House Floor

A House Committee has given preliminary approval to an amended version of the $15 minimum wage proposal.

HB 166, proposing to phase-in a $15 minmum wage across Maryland, has gotten its first stamp of approval. The House Economic Matters Committee voted 17-7 to pass an amended version of the bill, and send that report to the floor of the House of Delegates for a full vote. The bill is likely to come up whit week in the House.

Original bill text | ECM Committee Amendments

If the bill moved past an initial House floor vote (known as “second reading”) it will be re-printed with all the adopted amendments integrated into the bill text for easier reading.

The most prominent amendment in the bill as passed by the Committee is the timetable for changes to the statewide minimum wage, currently at $10.10 per hour. The amended version moves more slowly than as introduced, making its first change (to $11.00) on January 1, 2020. The rate would then increase $0.75 per year, reaching the full $15.00 level in January of 2025.

The amended bill also makes special provisions on affordability, empowering the Board of Public Works new authority to react to economic information.

The bill, as passed, does not implement any regional differentiation in the wage rate, as sought by some stakeholders.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties