The details of a bill to gradually increase Maryland’s minimum wage from $10.10 per hour to $15 per hour will be worked out by a conference committee of delegates and senators.
The House of Delegates on Friday refused to agree to the state Senate’s version of the “Fight for $15” bill, making the conference committee necessary.
The House of Delegates approved a version of the bill that sets a schedule for all employers to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.
The Senate set out a different schedule for companies with fewer than 15 workers, giving them until 2028 to reach the $15 wage.
The House and Senate versions of the bill also require different levels of funding in the state budget for health and human services organizations — such as those that serve individuals with disabilities — to help them raise the pay of their workers.
Both versions leave in place what’s known as the “tip credit,” which allows companies to pay tipped workers, such as servers and bartenders, as little as $3.63 per hour as long as their tips bring their total pay to at least minimum wage.
“I’m going to fight for the House’s position but everything is on the table,” said Del. Dereck Davis, chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee. The Prince George’s County Democrat will represent the House on the conference committee along with Del. C.T. Wilson and Del. Kathleen Dumais, both Democrats.
The Senate has not yet appointed its conference committee members.
Gov. Larry Hogan has not said whether he would veto a $15 minimum wage bill, but he has offered his own proposal of increasing the minimum wage to $12.10 by 2022.
The House and Senate each passed their versions of the bill with enough votes to override any gubernatorial veto.