Could your state raise its minimum wage in 2023 or in the near future? In 2021, the Pew Research Center reported that six-in-ten U.S. adults (62%) favored raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, 30 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal wage. Much like in recent years, in 2023, state legislatures have attempted or are still attempting to follow the efforts of increasing their minimum wage. Such states include but are not limited to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
Maryland: Governor Signs Minimum Wage Increase
In April 2023, Governor WestMoore signed SB 555 into law, which increases the minimum wage rate for employers of all sizes to $15.00 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2024. The Maryland minimum wage in 2023 is $13.25 per hour for large employers and $12.80 per hour for small employers. For tipped employees, the rate is $3.63 per hour. The law eliminates future rate increases, which could change depending on new legislation. Governor Moore initially proposed accelerating the minimum wage increase to $15 more than a year before the state’s previous law would require it, beginning October 1, 2023. The bill previously had a clause linking the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), but that was removed by lawmakers.
Pennsylvania: State House Passes Minimum Wage Increase
In June 2023, the Democratic-controlled state House narrowly passed legislation that would increase the minimum wage starting in 2024. HB 1500 would gradually increase the minimum wage in Pennsylvania from $7.25 to $11 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2024; $13 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2025; $15 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2026, and indexed to inflation afterward. There would be annual cost-of-living increases beginning in 2027, and the bill would also set the minimum wage for tipped workers at 60% of the hourly minimum wage. The bill awaits consideration by the GOP-controlled state Senate.
Rhode Island: Seeking to Increase Minimum Wage to $19.00 per Hour
Rhode Island House Bill 5928 was introduced in March 2023 to increase the minimum hourly wage annually until it reached $19 an hour. Specifically, the bill would increase the minimum wage starting with an increase from $13.00 to $14.50 per hour, effective January 2024 to $16.75 per hour the following year. Then, the wage would be increased the next year to $19.00 per hour. This bill was referred to the House Labor Committee, where they recommended the measure be held for further study.
West Virginia: Bill to Raise Minimum Wage in 2023 Fails
Filed for introduction in January 2023, West Virginia’s House Bill 2378 would have steadily increased the state minimum wage over several years. Specifically, this bill would have increased the state minimum wage of $8.75 to $10.00 per hour effective September 2023 and then increased thereafter by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage was $15.00 per hour in September 2028. Additionally, for any year that the total of the prior twelve months, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as published by the U.S. Department of Labor for all consumers had decreased, the wage increase for that year would be deferred until the following year when the index increased. The bill did not advance in the 2023 legislative session.
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