Maryland General Assembly Approves $10.10 Minimum Wage Hike

Date: April 08, 2014

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.

Sincerely,

Jessica Cooper
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:

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.

In addition to these Ag exemptions, an amendment to keep the Ag employee
overtime exemption at 60 hours was approved and remains in the law. 

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)

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