Minimum Wage Debate Moves to the Senate

The debate on legislation to increase Maryland’s minimum wage moved to the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week. Committee Chairman Thomas “Mac” Middleton announced that the committee would hold work groups to work through various elements related to the bill. 

He said the committee would consider increasing the minimum wage in conjunction with an increase to the earned income tax credit. The tax credit goes before the Budget & Taxation Committee, and Middleton said the two committees may hold joint work groups to explore the idea.  

Middleton also said the committee would consider proposals to allow counties to set their own minimum wage levels based on concerns about regional cost of living.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce opposes 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. A recently released study by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, Director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, warned that increasing Maryland’s minimum wage would lead to job loses, price increases and a weakened economic position. View the full report here.

The Chamber also opposes legislation to allow counties to set their own minimum wage levels. We believe allowing the counties to impose individualized employment regulations would set a dangerous precedent. “For employers, who operate in multiple counties around the state, the administrative burden to implement various wage requirements would be onerous,” said Maryland Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Deriece Pate Bennett. “It would also create gross pay inequities and foster inner-state competitiveness issues.”  

The Maryland Chamber will continue to follow the debate and bring you updates as developments arise. View our complete position statement. For more information, contact Deriece Pate Bennett at dpatebennett@mdhcamber.org

Legislative Issues Tag: Employment Issues

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