Maryland Chamber opposes minimum wage increase

Legislation to increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation will be heard by key committees of the Maryland General Assembly this week.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce will oppose the legislation. Imposing additional costs on Maryland’s small businesses 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.

Earlier this week, the Maryland Foundation for Research & Economic Education released a study conducted by Stephen S. Fuller, Director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. The study warns that increasing Maryland’s minimum wage would lead to job loses, price increases and a weakened economic position. View the full report here.

The study was released during a press conference on Monday where several business owners voiced their concern over the proposed legislation. Larry Stottlemyer, CEO of Adventure Park USA in Frederick County talked about the many teenagers who have gained valuable experience working at the park and the impact a minimum wage increase would have on his company.

“I can’t afford to pay entry level workers $10 per hour,” Stottlemyer said. He hires people between the ages of 15 and 17, trains them to work at the park and pays them just above minimum wage. Stottlemyer said that if the minimum wage is increased he would have to consider hiring older employees instead.

David Norman, President of DavCo, a Wendy’s franchisee that operates more than 150 restaurants, said that when you combine a minimum wage increase with the increased health care costs his company is facing, the company would likely have to close several locations.

The bills will be heard in the House Economic Matters Committee on Tuesday, February 11, and the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, February 13. For more information, contact Deriece Pate Bennett at dpatebennett@mdchamber.org.

Photo: Larry Stottlemyer (center), CEO of Adventure Park USA in Frederick County, with Senator David Brinkley and Delegate Kelly Schulz in Annapolis. During a press conference on Monday, Stottlemyer outlined how a minimum wage increase would impact his business.

Legislative Issues Tag: Employment Issues

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