MD Gov. wants $15 minimum wage sooner, business community calls proposal “anti-business”
MARYLAND – Governor Wes Moore is urging that by October, rather than 2025 minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour.
More money sounds like a good thing right? But some economists say not so fast. “This makes Maryland anti-competitive and anti-business and this is not what our new governor said he wants,” Chambers says.
Bill Chambers with the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce does not think this is in business’ best bet, however, with this plan, Governor Moore says this will lift 152,000 children up the economic ladder, meaning better pay earlier in life.
But Chambers says this will negatively impact existing employees through wage compression. “While many people are already earning $15, accelerating it to this year, creates a lot of issues for employers who are currently paying people $15, cause those people then when you’re bringing a new employee on, they’re going to have to raise the salaries of the existing employees,” he explains.
The other issue Chambers mentions is matching the wage to the consumer price index. “How do you budget for your payroll and personnel costs, tieing it to inflation, how do you as a business person budget for that? Not knowing what inflation will be in 2 years from now when you’re doing your budgets in advance to run your business,” Chambers says.
Chambers says one business already told him, if approved they’d be forced to make layoffs. But Governor Moore believes this move will make Maryland a more attractive place to work.