Voters took to the polls in November and approved big hikes in four states’ minimum wages: Washington State, Colorado, Maine and Arizona.
But the increases may not actually take effect as voters intended because elected representatives -- mostly Republicans -- are moving to rein them in. In Washington, where voters opted for a $13.50 an hour minimum wage by 2020, and Maine, where it was set to rise to $12 that year, state legislators have proposed a battery of bills to water down the increases. The city council in Flagstaff, Arizona has done the same to a local initiative that would have boosted the wage floor to $12 this year, sooner than the statewide increase.
The news is better in Maryland, where both the state House and Senate have passed a paid sick leave bill with veto-proof majorities:
The bill passed by the General Assembly requires employers with 15 or more workers to provide five days of paid sick leave. It does not offer tax incentives to help offset the cost.
The House agreed to accept a change in the legislation made in the Senate that cut the number of sick days per year that employers must offer from seven to five.
That would make eight states with paid sick leave laws, all of them coming since Connecticut kicked it off in 2011.