Maryland, Virginia legislatures consider raising minimum wage

Both Maryland and Virginia are considering raising the minimum wage as each state’s General Assembly starts its 2019 session this week.

 

Maryland Democrats have discussed a $15 minimum wage for years. State Senate President Mike Miller, Jr. said it would pass this year, according to The Washington Post. The state’s minimum wage rose to $10.10 last summer, the end of a gradual increase from $7.25 starting in 2014.

 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has not given support to either side of the debate, saying he wants to make sure people make as much money as they can to lift themselves out of poverty. But, he added, he doesn’t want to harm small businesses or overall economic growth.

 

Virginia uses the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Several bills have been filed by Democratic legislators that would raise the wage, including one requiring a $15 minimum wage by 2023. Those bills face an uncertain future in the state’s six-week legislative session, as Republicans hold a thin two-vote majority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

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