Md. House Gives Preliminary Approval To $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Washington County Delegate proposes a different minimum wage legislation.


Annapolis, Md. (KM). The Maryland House of Delegates gave  preliminary approval on Wednesday to a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Delegates may vote on the legislation this  week before it goes to the State Senate.

The measure would raise the minimum wage in  increments, going from the current $10.10 per hour to $11 in January, and then by 75-cents each year till it reaches $14 in 2024, and then reaching $15 in 2025.

Washington County  Delegate  Neil Parrott (R) has come up with his own minimum wage bill. “Once size does not fit all for Maryland. So I’ve introduced a bill that’s  county-choice minimum wage, allow each county to chose their own minimum wage,” he says.

He says it’s best to let the counties decide, rather than having a $15, across-the-board minimum wage in Maryland, which would hurt businesses in western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. . “It would just make sense to allow the counties to choose what’s best for their citizens, their businesses and the people who live there, to choose their own minimum wage,” says Parrott.

He says the $15-per-hour minimum wage could hurt local businesses, and leave many citizens without jobs. In addition, Parrott says businesses could start looking to automation to replace employees, noting that customers at McDonald’s now  place their orders through a kiosk, instead of  someone standing behind the counter. “Instead of having a waiter come to talk to you, you’ll be entering your order on that little kiosk machine, and they’ll just bring it out to you,” he says. “I don’t think that’s the direction that people want to see our area go, and it’s certainly not the direction employers would like to see it go;  and certainly, employees, those who are going to lose their jobs because of the $15 minimum wage.”

Supporters of increasing the minimum wage say workers need the extra money to keep up with their expenses.

Parrott says this idea of letting the counties decide the minimum wage is nothing new. “Mike Miller {D}, whose the President of the Senate, had this very idea several years ago when we talked about the first minimum wage increase in Maryland. And I’m going to working with other Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the aisle, the Delegation and the State Senate to try to see if we can get something more like this,” he says.


By Kevin McManus