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Larry Hogan(The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

Union: Hogan flip-flopped on minimum wage

A top union official accused Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan of “deceiving Marylanders over his opposition to raising the minimum wage.”

Pat Lippold, vice president of the Service Employees International Union Maryland and DC State Council, said in a statement that Hogan flip-flopped on the issue and is now trying to claim he supported it after claiming earlier that he had opposed the hike.

“We made great progress in raising Maryland’s minimum wage to make a real impact in the lives of countless working families, and the fact is that Larry Hogan, like every Republican in the Maryland Legislature opposed the increase in the minimum wage,’ said Lippold.

Earlier this year the General Assembly passed a law that will phase in increases beginning Jan. 1 when the rate will increase from $7.25 to $8 per hour. Additional increases will come annually until the rate reaches $10.10 in 2018.

SEIU supported the increase and has endorsed Hogan’s rival, Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.

In a candidate questionnaire submitted to The Baltimore Sun, Hogan answered “no” when asked about support for the minimum wage.

In a similar questionnaire submitted to Capital News Service in March, Hogan had a much longer answer:

“The minimum wage law will likely pass this year, increasing income for some Maryland employees but also forcing employers to let go of thousands of other entry level workers,” Hogan wrote in his response. “The next governor will have to work very hard to attract new businesses to Maryland to make up for these job losses. The minimum wage debate is a symptom of a much bigger problem in Maryland – a lack of economic growth. Maryland’s stagnant wages are a result of very little economic growth for the past half a decade. Unemployment remains historically high for Maryland and young people have been some of the hardest hit by this disturbing trend.”