Maryland overrides governor's veto, approves $15 minimum wage

Maryland will become the sixth state to implement a $15 minimum wage after its Democratic-controlled legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto Thursday.

The current minimum wage in Maryland is $10.10. Under the new law, it will reach $15 an hour by 2025 through a series of staggered increases, the Associated Press reports, starting next year when it will increase to $11 an hour. Businesses with less than 14 employees will have an extra year to raise wages to $15. 

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Democrats originally passed the increase with a veto-proof majority, and voted to override Hogan’s veto by 96-43 in the state House and 35-12 in the Senate, according to Vox. Hogan had vetoed the measure, saying it would be untenable without similar measures in surrounding states. 

“Making Maryland’s minimum wage more than double that of Virginia could be too much for our economy to bear,” Hogan wrote, according to The Baltimore Sun. “How can we place Maryland’s workers at risk and Maryland businesses at so much of a disadvantage?”

The veto override makes Maryland the sixth state to approve a $15 minimum wage, following California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, along with the District of Columbia.

State Sen. Cory McCray (D), who sponsored the bill in the state senate, said the wage increase would benefit 573,000 workers.

“They don’t want a hand out, they want a hand up,” McCray said, according to the Sun. “And while there are those of us that can go to work every day and they can do everything right, the reality is that there were thoughtful leaders before us that put in protections to make sure that we lift all people, which is what we are doing today.”