Maryland Matters: Skeptics of $15 Minimum Wage Push Regional Carve-Out

By Danielle E. Gaines
Maryland Matters, Feb 22, 2019. Also WTOP

As lawmakers consider whether to adopt a $15 minimum wage, some are also asking whether that figure is needed everywhere in Maryland. ...

But supporters of a statewide “Clean 15” bill – without carve-outs for certain industries or regions – said such logic was flawed.

“A state minimum wage that sets lower rates for certain regions would incentivize workers to leave rural communities to seek higher paying jobs in urban areas, making it harder for our rural businesses to hire and retain employees,” said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a coalition that includes members from Frederick County to the Eastern Shore.

For a higher wage to have a broader economic impact, the statewide effect of increased consumer spending must be felt, Barron-Menza said. A regionalized minimum wage “would lock in the current poverty of regions where communities are struggling,” she told the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. ...

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Copyright 2019 Maryland Matters

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