Maryland Expected to Pass $15 Min. Wage Bill

New bill would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

The Maryland Senate is expected to approve a statewide $15 minimum wage bill this week, according to The Washington Post.

If it receives final approval in the Senate, which is expected, the House and Senate versions of the legislation will have to be amended through a joint conference committee, according to The Post. The bill would then go to the governor, who could sign it, veto it or allow it become law without his signature.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has said that a $15 wage would hurt businesses. Others say a higher minimum wage would help reduce crime.

The House Education and Labor Committee recently advanced the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over a five-year period.

Most states have already increased their minimum wage to above the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, and many localities have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage. But no state minimums are as high as $15 an hour—yet.

Maryland would follow a small number of states to pass bills that will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour within the next few years: California will reach $15 an hour in 2022, Massachusetts in 2023, New Jersey in 2024 and Illinois in 2025.