- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
ANNAPOLIS — Minimum wage workers across Maryland will be getting a raise.
After 90 days of dickering, lawmakers voted Monday — the last day of the General Assembly session — to raise the statewide minimum wage gradually to $10.10 per hour.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) identified raising the wage his top legislative priority this session.
“This year, we are building on this record of strengthening the middle class by raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10,” O’Malley said in a statement commending the General Assembly for the action.
While the legislature held firm at raising the wage to O’Malley’s target of $10.10 per hour, lawmakers stretched implementation by two extra years, reaching $10.10 per hour by July 2018.
Maryland last raised its minimum wage in 2006.
The first raise takes effect in January, increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8 an hour.
Conservative lawmakers fought unsuccessfully to keep the wage at the current $7.25 per hour, predicting it would cost the state jobs and make the state even more unfriendly to business.
“And it won’t just cost jobs. It will increase the cost of goods and services,” House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) said.
Eighteen House and 27 Senate amendments were proposed throughout the session to change the bill. Only five were adopted.
The bill is headed to O’Malley for what is expected to be a speedy signature into law.