Howard Co. Votes to Raise Minimum Wage to Highest in State

The Howard County Council voted yesterday to raise the County’s minimum wage by more than $4 per hour by 2025, to the highest level in Maryland.

At its December 6 meeting, the Howard County Council approved CB82-2021 to raise the minimum hourly wage from $11.75 per hour to $16 by Jan.1, 2025. The move is expected to affect about 40,000 workers in the county, according to the council.

The bill was introduced in early November, to robust debate in light of ongoing labor challenges and shifting workforce sentiments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WBAL TV 11 reporting when it was introduced explained the provisions of the bill:

The bill would phase in the wage increase from the current minimum wage of $11.75 per hour to $16 per hour by Jan.1, 2025. Small businesses would get an extra year to implement the change.

The bill, however, isn’t a one-time deal. It includes an annual inflation adjustment and, “Our bill requires future county councils to review and assess the minimum wage policy every four years,” [Councilman Opel] Jones said.

If signed into law by County Executive Calvin Ball, the bill would make Howard the Maryland county with the highest minimum wage to date, and one of the highest on the East Coast.

Access the bill language and details.

Read the full WBAL reporting from November.