Maryland Minimum Wage Increase Began January 1, 2020

The minimum wage in Maryland increased Wednesday, January 1st, one of several state laws that took effect with the start of the new year. Other changes impact everything from car rentals to beer franchisers to organ donors. The minimum wage increased and is now $11. Before Wednesday, the minimum wage had been $10.10 in Maryland since 2018. Montgomery and Prince George's counties, however, have their own higher minimum-wage standards.

During the 2019 Maryland General Assembly, state lawmakers voted to pass the bill supporting the increase, then had to override a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan to push it through into law.  Over the next five years, minimum wage in Maryland will increase until it reaches $15 in 2025.

For employers with at least 15 employees, this is the increase schedule:

  • Jan. 1, 2020 — $11
  • Jan. 1, 2021 — $11.75
  • Jan. 1, 2022 — $12.50
  • Jan. 1, 2023 — $13.25
  • Jan. 1, 2024 — $14
  • Jan. 1, 2025 — $15

For employers with 14 or fewer employees, this is the schedule:

  • Jan. 1, 2020 — $11
  • Jan. 1, 2021 — $11.60
  • Jan. 1, 2022 — $12.20
  • Jan. 1, 2023 — $12.80
  • Jan. 1, 2024 — $13.40
  • Jan. 1, 2025 — $14
  • Jan. 1, 2026 — $14.60
  • July 1, 2026 — $15

Maryland is one of six states that passed laws to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over time: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are the others, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The D.C. minimum wage will rise to $15 this July.

New Deputy Secretary of the Behavorial Health Administration (BHA)

The Maryland Department of Health announced on Monday, December 30, 2019 that Dr. Alyia Jones will become Deputy Secretary and head of the state’s Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), which oversees state mental health hospitals and community programs for substance use, among other services. Dr. Jones is a psychiatrist and previously worked at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, where she served for seven years as chief of psychiatry and chair of behavioral health.
Source: Baltimore Sun

Rutherford's Mental Health Commission Hosts Meeting In Hagerstown

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford wanted to hear about mental health care in a recent visit to Washington County. Rutherford is head of a commission that is studying challenges such as the public’s ability to get adequate information about mental health care in the state. There are also problems such as a lack of psychiatrists and psychologists, state officials said.

Rutherford’s Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health hosted a western regional meeting at Hagerstown Community College on Wednesday, which gave the public a chance to testify about mental health issues. A variety of professionals were sitting at the commission table, including those representing the Maryland General Assembly, Maryland State Police, state prisons, and other state agencies and organizations.

Rutherford said Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this year signed an executive order creating the commission, which will give recommendations to Hogan about the delivery of mental health care in the state.

Christian Miele of the Maryland Department of Disabilities talked about information that is available about mental health care services in the state. There are various websites about mental health care in the state, Miele said. But the information is disjointed, and people have trouble determining where to look for help, Miele said.

Rutherford said he used to view opioid abuse and mental disorders as separate. But he now sees them as connected the more he studies the issues. Left undiagnosed, mental illness can lead to homelessness, joblessness and suicide, Rutherford said.

Source: Herald Media

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