With a new legislature taking office this past week in Annapolis, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan can anticipate using his veto pen on a host of proposals should they make it to his desk. Legislators in the Terrapin State have already begun pushing another increase in the state minimum wage from the current $10.10/hour to a new target of $15 per hour. For his part, the 2nd term republican governor has already expressed his concern over the impact another minimum wage hike would have on Maryland businesses and on the long-term economic health of the state. Notwithstanding, the large number of first-year (read: inexperienced) members in the Maryland legislature promise to push a far more progressive agenda. Progressive New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who won the corner office in 2017 (after 2-term republican Chris Christie was term-limited) largely on the promise of a $15 minimum wage and other progressive initiatives, has yet to deliver. Against a backdrop of some political realities between the Governor and legislative leaders, the legislature held firm on a more gradual phase-in than the Governor’s bill provided before they’d approve an increase to the $8.85 state minimum. He wouldn’t budge, so neither would they! Unfortunately, early indications suggest that the two democratically controlled branches of New Jersey government will work through their issues and find common ground to increase the minimum this year. And, across the Pacific in the Aloha State, one legislative priority that has already been filed is hiking the state minimum wage to $15 per hour. But, a number of organizations including Raise Up Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, along with the democratic party of Hawaii, are plotting to make $17 the new $15 as they push to adopt a $17/hour “living wage” minimum in 2019.