- Overriding the governor's veto, Maryland's general assembly will move forward with a new plan to gradually increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour, according to the Baltimore Sun. Lawmakers reportedly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) veto by a large margin.
- The new law, which will take effect incrementally, will require companies with 15 or more employees to reach $15 per hour by 2025. Smaller companies will need to meet the $15 threshold by 2026. Following the veto, the first incremental jump will occur Jan. 1, 2020, putting the minimum wage in the state at $11.
- Hogan told the legislators in a letter that he worried a $15 minimum wage would cost the state jobs, "negatively impact our economic competitiveness and devastate our state's economy." He offered to provide support for an minimum wage increase to $12.10. Hogan said neighboring states' minimum wage laws — with Virginia and Pennsylvania at $7.25 and West Virginia at $8.75 — would make it difficult to compete.
Employers will want to be on the lookout for minimum wage hikes, which are occurring at a regular rhythm. When 2019 began, 19 states saw boosts to minimum wage as the national minimum wage continued to sit at $7.25 per hour.
Hogan isn't the only one who has criticized wage hikes, predicting negative economic consequences. Restaurant owners in New York City, where the minimum wage for employers with 11 or more workers is $15 per hour, have said raises in wage have forced them to cut back workers' hours, CBS News reported. "It's not great for labor, it's not great for the people who invest in or own restaurants, and it's not great for the public," one owner told CBS.
For many business leaders, changes in minimum wage provide opportunities to review hiring and compensation practices. Employees prize fat paychecks, research confirmed, but it's most important to workers that they're paid fairly, another report pointed out.