Maryland $15 Minimum Wage Pledge
View the Pledge PDF HERE
While Maryland’s economy is strong for high-income earners, working families across the state are still struggling. Paychecks for average Marylanders have been flat, leaving families squeezed as housing and living costs rise. Cost of living data show that even in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, Maryland’s workers need at least a $15 minimum wage just to cover the basics. And workers supporting families need even more. But while the District of Columbia, Montgomery County and states from Massachusetts to California are all moving forward with $15 minimum wages, this year the $15 minimum wage stalled in the legislature.
Next session working Marylanders need the legislature to finally deliver a $15 minimum wage – and to make sure that it’s a “Clean $15” that doesn’t block the state’s high-cost regions from raising their minimum wages in the future, or contain loopholes that leave struggling workers behind.
We pledge to support a $15 minimum wage that includes the following four key components:
- Gradually raises Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023, and automatically adjusts it each year after that to keep up with the rising cost of living – as more than 16 states and the District of Columbia currently do
- Preserves the current Maryland law that allows communities to raise the wage higher in the future – and opposes corporate lobbyists’ push to “preempt” local power to take progressive action to serve local needs
- Includes younger workers under age 20 – who are disproportionately from low-income households and half of whom are struggling to work their way through college facing spiraling debt
- Includes a raise for tipped workers who currently can be paid a paltry $3.63 an hour in Maryland. The last time the legislature raised the minimum wage, it froze the tipped wage at that rate (before that it had been 50% of the state’s full minimum wage). The next minimum wage increase should guarantee tipped workers One Fair Wage by gradually phasing Maryland’s tipped minimum wage up to the full minimum wage to protect them against the instability of living on tips.