PRESS RELEASE: Governor Larry Hogan Uses Veto to Protect Maryland Jobs and Economy

March 28, 2019

Legislature Ignores Common Sense Compromise Offered by Governor Hogan

Governor Larry Hogan today vetoed Senate Bill 280 and House Bill 166 – Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage, saying it “could cost us jobs, negatively impact our economic competitiveness, and devastate our state’s economy.”

Read the governor’s veto letter, which emphasizes three key points:

  1. This measure would cost Maryland more than 99,000 jobs. “A recent study on the issue of a $15 minimum wage concluded that Maryland private sector employment would be reduced by over 99,000 jobs and our state’s economic output would decline by more than $61 billion over the next decade. This same report estimates that more than half of the job losses would be in small businesses. I am extremely concerned that a dramatic and geographically disproportionate increase in our minimum wage will negatively impact our competitiveness and harm our state’s economy.”
  2. Legislators ignored Governor Hogan’s reasonable compromise proposal. “In the spirit of compromise, I provided the General Assembly with several reasonable options that would have provided for an increase in the minimum wage but not negatively impact jobs and businesses in Maryland. Unfortunately, those efforts were completely ignored. I proposed a manageable, phased increase of the minimum wage by two dollars to $12.10 by the year 2022. I also proposed that the legislature attach a trigger that would make any further increases above $12.10 effective only if our surrounding states reached a combined average of 80% of our wage.”
  3. This measure would hurt Maryland’s competitiveness and push small businesses out of the state.“Small businesses faced with the choice between a $7.25 wage in Virginia or $15 in Maryland will be forced to create jobs in the lower cost location and possibly reduce jobs or eliminate operations in Maryland. Making Maryland’s minimum wage more than double that of Virginia could be too much for our economy to bear. How can we place Maryland’s workers at risk and Maryland businesses at so much of a disadvantage?”