ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland General Assembly today passed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2018.
The bill was passed by the House of Delegates in March 89 to 46 and cleared the Senate Saturday by a vote of 34 to 13. Today's final concurrence vote in the House of Delegates was 87 to 47.
Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the bill that will raise the wage from $7.25 an hour to $8 on Jan. 1, 2015 and $8.25 on July 1, 2015. After that, workers will a raise to $8.75 on July 1, 2016 and $9.25 on July 1, 2017. Finally, the minimum wage will reach $10.10 an hour on July 1, 2018.
“My central focus as Governor of Maryland has been to to strengthen and grow the ranks of our ever more diverse and upwardly mobile middle class...," said O'Malley in a statement. “This year, we are building on this record of strengthening the middle class by raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10. We worked hard to bring people together and forge the consensus necessary to make this important progress possible. I commend the General Assembly for giving so many Maryland families the raise they deserve.”
According to Raise Maryland, a coalition who lobbied lawmakers to increase the minimum wage, a $10.10 minimum wage puts Maryland among the highest minimum wage rates in the country and mirrors the current federal proposal proposed by President Barack Obama.
For example, Delaware’s minimum wage will rise to $8.25 by June 2015; West Virginia's is set to increase to $8.75 by 2016, Connecticut’s legislature recently enacted a $10.10 minimum wage by 201 and two key House committee in the Vermont legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 as early as 2015.
"Raising Maryland’s minimum wage is a huge win for the hundreds of thousands of workers across the state who will get a raise, as well as the businesses and communities that will experience increased economic activity because of higher wages,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of Raise Maryland, in a statement. “Over the last 16 months, Raise Maryland’s campaign and strategy has successfully moved lawmakers and votes to achieve this progressive and meaningful raise for workers.”