Letter from the State Director
Thank you to all our members and supporters who took action against legislation to raise the minimum wage.
Unfortunately, on April 7, 2014, the measure passed. NFIB did everything it could to prevent this outcome. Along with several other business groups, we fought the bill every step of the way as it moved through the legislative process, meeting with lawmakers, providing state-specific research and making our case in the media to educate voters. In the end, it wasn’t enough to overcome strong labor union and Governor Martin O’Malley’s support of raising the minimum wage.
However, legislative amendments added to the original bill are a direct result of legislators hearing how businesses would be negatively impacted by this bill.
“I want to personally thank you for your leadership on this issue. Minimum wage was a tough issue to begin with. When they changed the dates to soften the impact and stretch out the applicable time period, it was even tougher. It was your information and that of your members that was instrumental. Please convey to the membership how important it is for them to be engaged in the discussion. Although the bill passed, the input from members of your organization gave us leverage to make a bad bill, a little less bad.” - Del. Cathy Vitale (D 33A) Anne Arundel County
Positive accomplishments made to the original bill include:
- Removal of indexing
- Stretched out the wage hike from two years to four years
- Tipped wage frozen at $3.63 instead of 70% of the minimum wage
- Added a six-month training wage for those 19 years old and younger to make at least 85% of the minimum wage
- Removal of the Six Flags carve-out
- Extended the exemption of businesses with an annual gross income of less than $250,000 to $400,000.
Wage phase-in, note two increases in 2015:
- January 1, 2015 - $8.00/hour
- July 1, 2015 - $8.25
- July 1, 2016 - $8.75
- July 1, 2017 - $9.25
- July 1, 2018 - $10.10
NFIB thanks all who took action on this issue. As a job creator and business owner in your legislator’s district, you have a powerful voice. If you have not done so already, please thank your legislators who stood up for small business and opposed this bill. Our easy-to use alert makes it easy and it will only take a moment of your time. To send a thank you, click here.
Although this is a tough break, it could have been worse, and you’re tougher. You’ll make the decisions and the sacrifices and the innovations necessary to succeed. Meanwhile, there will be other battles to fight and if we win those we can offset the damage that this new one will cause.
Maryland State Director
NFIB's Efforts: NFIB members and staff have been working tirelessly to fight against a minimum wage hike. On February 10, NIFB joined George Mason University professor Dr. Steven Fuller in releasing his Maryland- focused minimum wage study: Economic Impact of Minimum Wage Increase in Maryland, at a press event. NFIB Members Phyllis Burlage of Burlage Associates PA and Larry Stotlemyer, CEO of Adventure Park USA also spoke at the event about the impact that a minimum wage increase would have on their businesses. Larry was quoted in the Washington Post and by several other media outlets:
- Study Looks At Impact Of Minimum Wage Hike In Md.
- Study looks at impact of minimum wage hike in Md.
- House rejects minimum-wage exemptions
- Study looks at impact of minimum wage hike in Maryland
- Minimum wage Delegates reject exemptions from minimum-wage increase
NFIB Members, Larry Stottelmyer and Phyllis Burlage spoke out in opposition to the MD minimum wage at a press event
The Maryland Farm Bureau on Minimum Wage and Agriculture
…though MFB was opposed to increasing the minimum wage rate in Maryland, we were happy to see Agriculture exemptions that are in current state law remain in place with the passage of the bill. One section is on Ag exemptions to the minimum wage increase. Current law states that if state rate ever exceeds federal, these Ag exemptions would be in place:
- Ag employees, if the employers used less than 500 worker-days in all calendar quarters of the previous year
- An Ag employee who is the parent, spouse, child or other member of the employer’s immediate family.
- An Ag employee who is employed as a hand-harvest laborer and is paid on a piece-rate as long as the employee commutes daily from home to work; was employed in Ag less than 13 weeks the year before; is employed on the same farm as his/her parents.
To read MFB’s newsletter, click here.NFIB's Press Releases:
Maryland NFIB urges House to Defeat Minimum Wage Hike
MD Small Business Says Min Wage Changes Makes a Bad Bill Only Mildly Better
MD NFIB Warns Lawmakers Against Raising Minimum Wage
Maryland NFIB to President Obama: We're not all Costco
NFIB's Minimum Wage Video: (Released on March 28)
Photos From the Session: (top) Jessica Cooper meets with Sen. Mathias, (bottom L) Delegate Minority Leader Kipke, (bottom R) Cooper meets with Del. Schultz - thank you to the legislators who opposed minimum wage!