Baltimore Business Journal: Minimum wage debate takes center stage in Annapolis

By Holden Wilen
Baltimore Business Journal, Feb 8, 2019

... The marquee proposal of this year's legislative session in Annapolis took center stage Friday as 174 advocates, business owners, trade associations and other groups testified for and against a bill to raise Maryland's minimum wage. The Economic Matters Committee's hearing room reached capacity and many others filled the hallway outside to pitch lawmakers on whether or the minimum wage should be raised.

House Bill 166 would raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and then tie it to the Consumer Price Index. ...Maryland last passed a bill to raise the minimum wage in 2014. As a result of that measure, the wage is currently $10.10. ...

A coalition of business owners, called Business For A Fair Minimum Wage, argue that raising the wage would boost the economy by giving workers more money to spend. Companies will also experience less turnover, increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

Members of the coalition include Ned Atwater, owner of Atwater's Traditional Food; Michael Lastoria, CEO of &pizza; Brian England, owner of B.A. Auto Care in Columbia; and Gina Schaefer, who owns a group of 11 Ace Hardware stores in including in Canton and Federal Hill. ...

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Copyright 2019 American City Business Journals.

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