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By Ava-Joye Burnett
CBS Baltimore, WJZ,Feb 27, 2023

Maryland is supposed to get to a $15 minimum wage by January 2025. Now, Gov. Wes Moore and several lawmakers want to expedite the process to get to that minimum wage increase sooner.

Those who support the minimum wage increase tell WJZ it is important to do this now because inflation has had an impact on how far money stretches, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporters also said that higher wages make them more competitive, it cuts back on turnover of new employees, and it's good business because it gets more money into the pockets of workers. If the governor has his way, the $15 minimum will come about 15 months earlier, in October of 2023.

Gina Schaefer, who owns a dozen hardware stores in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia, said she has been pushing for $15 minimum wage for years.

On Monday, she, along with union members and other business owners, met with Gov. Moore to see what they can do about increasing minimum wage sooner.

"We've been paying the highest wage of our three jurisdictions in all three of our regions in DC, Maryland and Virginia and we're fine," Schaefer said. "We're still in business. We're still growing. It's definitely doable in Maryland, and we're ready for it to happen." ...

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