Howard Co.’s minimum wage to go to $16 over next 5 years

Maryland’s Howard County Council passed legislation Monday that, over several years, increases the county’s minimum wage from $11.75 an hour to $16.

The legislation, sponsored and authored by Council members Opel Jones and Christiana Rigby, passed 4-1.

“The impact of this legislation will relieve a financial burden for thousands of low-wage workers, moreover it will benefit 25% of the county’s Asian and Pacific Islander workers, 30% of the county’s working women, 33% of the county’s African American workers, 51% of the county’s Latinx workers, and 75% of workers in low-income families,” Jones said in a statement.

Rigby said the passage was “a strong step toward a more equitable and livable wage for working families in Howard County.”

Under the proposal, county employees would make $15 per hour, starting July 1, 2022, and $16 per hour in July 2024.

Small employers would have to raise their minimum wage to $13 per hour in April 2022, then to $14 an hour in January 2023, $15 per hour in January 2024 and $16 per hour in January 2026.

All other employers would have a minimum wage of $14 an hour in April 2022, $15 an hour in January 2023 and $16 an hour in January 2025.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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