On March 18, 2019, we wrote that both houses of the Maryland Assembly had passed bills that would increase the state-wide minimum wage to $15 by 2025 or 2028, depending on the size of the company, but that the House and the Senate still had to work out their differences.

The two chambers acted quickly and on March 20, 2019 (Senate) and March 21, 2019 (House) adopted a conference report that essentially adopted the Senate version (SB 280), with two changes: (1) a two-year acceleration in the timing for companies with fewer than 14 employees, from January 1, 2028 to January 1, 2026, and (2) slightly lower annual increases, except for a higher increase in 2025, for reimbursements of certain health and human service organizations.

The bill now goes to Governor Hogan, but as previously noted, even if he vetoes the bill, he would face a likely veto override.