Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown joined advocates of a minimum wage increase at a rally in Annapolis earlier this week. The Governor said he would introduce a bill this session that would increase Maryland’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour in three steps by 2016, with future raises indexed to inflation.
The Maryland Chamber will oppose the legislation. Imposing additional costs on Maryland’s employers by increasing the minimum wage would have a negative impact on state’s business climate and economic competitiveness. Maryland’s job creators should be allowed to create wage and benefit programs that balance the needs of their employees with the economic stresses their companies face. Imposing additional labor costs on businesses could force impacted business owners to make difficult divisions like raising prices, eliminating positions or trimming benefits.