The state of Maryland already has its own minimum wage, which we have discussed in great detail here at this blog and thus do not need to discuss again anytime soon. But what the state is about to do, it seems according to my sources, is set up a so called living wage. This would not be for all employers in the state, however. The Maryland living wage would only be for contractors who work with the state, and would affect what they have to pay their employees.
The new law would make it so these contractors would have to pay their employees at least $11.30 per hour for any work these employees do on state contracts. On other projects that are not affiliated with the state, however, the contractors could pay their employees whatever they wanted, as long as it was above the state minimum wage. And the living wage law would not affect contractors in all locations of the state, even if they are working on state contracts.
The new law would only affect state projects that take place in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and in Baltimore County, as well as in the city of Baltimore proper. In the other, more rural and possibly poorer counties of the state, the living wage would be $8.50 per hour. Mind you, that $8.50 per hour is still higher than the Maryland minimum wage of $6.15 per hour.
The House in Maryland should have passed the bill this past Friday. If it did not—and I will have to check with my sources to see if it did—then expect a passage next week. That is because in part the bill has the support of the governor, who made a deal with the Senate leaders to have the bill in place before the end of this legislative session, which ends this coming Monday night.