Maryland Lawmakers Looking to Raise Minimum Wage, Eastern Shore - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Lawmakers Looking to Raise Minimum Wage, Eastern Shore Reacts

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 6:36 PM Updated:

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Running through his list of bills, Willie Curry says, as a part-time transfer station worker, it's hard sometimes paying them all off.

"I struggle quite a bit, quite often," Curry said.

But now relief may be on its way. Some Maryland lawmakers are looking to increase the minimum wage to $15.

Curry says he's all for it.

"I think it's great and I'm glad they're considering it," Curry said.

But small businesses would hurt the most with that kind of change, according to Simmons Center Market owner, Ricky Travers.

"I mean the worker might gain some from the increase in wages, but they could be cut back on hours," Travers said.

Travers says the effect could also trickle down from businesses to their workers and customers.

"The consumer is going to wind up paying for it in increased prices," Travers said.

It's a change affecting not just small businesses. Bill Christopher of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce says raising the minimum wage could hurt Eastern Shore counties.

"They're kind of trying to say, 'Let's just make one bill fit the entire state, fit every business, every company,' and that's problematic," Christopher said.

Christopher also says Eastern Shore businesses may not be able to keep up with the $15 minimum wage unlike other Maryland businesses in other counties.

"So by saying, 'We're going to take and drive the minimum wage up across the board without really thinking about the impact it has on businesses,' is a bad idea," Christopher said.

But, for workers like Curry, driving that minimum wage up is a good idea.

"It's been well due for a while. It's finally come to the forefront," Curry said.

The minimum wage in Maryland currently stands at $9.25 and is set to increase in July to $10.10.

No bill has been introduced yet for the $15 minimum wage, but some lawmakers say they hope to make that a reality by 2023.


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