Minimum Wage Hike to $10.10 by 2018 Wins Preliminary Senate OK

The Maryland Senate and House must still reconcile their versions of minimum wage bills before the General Assembly ends Monday.

The Maryland Senate and House must still reconcile their versions of minimum wage bills before the General Assembly ends Monday. File|Patch
The Maryland Senate and House must still reconcile their versions of minimum wage bills before the General Assembly ends Monday. File|Patch

Legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2018 won preliminary approval in the Maryland Senate Friday, but the body is expected to cast a final vote on House Bill 295 on Saturday, reports CapitalGazette.com.

If the bill is approved, the House has to ratify changes made to the bill before it is sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his signature.

Senators rejected more than 15 amendments to the bill on Friday, including increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers and reducing the amount the minimum wage would be hiked to $8.25. Lawmakers were hesitant to vote for amendments because they feared that would harm its chances to pass by Monday’s end of the General Assembly. 

The O’Malley administration supports a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

Before it passed the House, O’Malley’s proposal was stripped of a provision that would have indexed the wage to inflation after it hits $10.10. It was also stripped of a proposed minimum wage hike for tipped workers, the Capital-Gazette says.

The bill includes a provision allowing employers to pay workers younger than 19 a training wage — 85 percent of the minimum wage — during their first six months.

Opponents say a higher minimum wage would burden small businesses and kill jobs. Supporters argue the measure will help Maryland’s low-wage workers better provide for their families and build savings.

“It is the right step to take economically,” O’Malley said last month at a hearing. “If we want a stronger economy, if we want more customers for businesses, if we want economic growth, then we should raise the minimum wage.”

Statements from Attorney General Doug Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown last month said that an increase in the minimum wage would pull many full-time workers who earn the base pay, and their families, above the federal poverty line.

But many other small business owners and representatives from companies like DavCo Restaurants, which operates more than 150 Wendy’s restaurants in the region, said a minimum wage hike would seriously hurt them, forcing them to cut jobs and potentially shut down.

Many called the governor’s bill extreme, arguing that an increase to $10.10 an hour would come as a shock to businesses.

Louis Santoni, president of Santoni's Marketplace & Catering in Baltimore, said that a $10.10 minimum wage would cost his business three times its average net profit.


McGibblets April 04, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Then why stop at $10.10? why not $110.10?? If arbitrary numbers have no impact on the economy lets go for the top! $1101101.10/hr FOR ALL! McGibblets 2016
jag April 04, 2014 at 11:11 PM
Well, if you were trying to make your previous inane comment look reasonable by comparison, it's safe to say you succeeded.
Dennis Gilpin April 05, 2014 at 12:52 AM
"Whatever the market will bear, is term used by economists to project how the free enterprise system works. If the minimum wage goes up the costs of products will go up as well. The fast food providers will only find a way to eliminate some jobs by automation. The economy is stagnant and that is why the politicians put the pay hike in the future, not wanting to get repercussions in case the law caused economic problems. Good timing with the elections coming up though.
Thom Boone April 07, 2014 at 03:46 PM
GANSLER was the first state official to recommend the increase but as part of an overall package where Maryland makes aggressively seeking jobs its number priority. Because if we don't have good jobs here, it doesn't make any difference what BROWN OMALLEY set the minimum at. And BROWN and O'MALLEY have performed miserably neon job creation and aggessively recruiting industry to this states. Instead they have given us 40 successive tax increases - the most REGRESSIVE of which was the gasoline tax because it isn't even offset anywhere else (it treats gasoline as if it were a sin). O’Malley and Brown fail to mention that they have done virtually nothing in the way of aggressively or actively seeking out and encouraging business to come to Maryland. Nothng. Not even an “I Maryland” campaign in New York - while Andrew Cuomo has made it all start-ups small or medium-sized for the first ten years in New York State absolutely TAX FREE. (No wonder “I love New York.) Instead they have given us something like 40 successive onerous tax increases, the worst of which is the TRULY REGRESSIVE GASOLINE tax - which is not even an true energy tax in that it does not cut the payroll tax rate or eliminate it and emphasize conservation as means of raising revenue. (See www.getamericaworking.org.) Biggest problem facing Maryland is job creation. 80-plus % of the people are among the genuinely unemployed now then there were 7 years ago True unemployment rate is even higher - much higher than reported rate - because people just fall off the screen. Maryland rural counties adjacent to other states - but Maryland as a whole and even more so when seen as potential is just BLEEDING JOBS AND JOBS AND MORE JOBS: Maryland has only 3-4 Fortune 500 companies left. We have lost and thousands of small businesses in the last seven years, not to mention prospects. We are the 4th highest taxed state I think is right in the country. Every year for the past 7, the MD legislature has run a $700M to $1B deficit from Annapolis. Meanwhile across the river, Virginia successively reaps in a $1B surplus. Because VA vigorously and aggressively promote jobs and attracts industry. Maryland needs to bring jobs to Maryland to increase its tax base in order to do the things that Democrats believe really ought to be done for the people of Maryland. We need to bring jobs hereto Maryland because we need to increase our tax base. And we need to be able to have money to do things that Democrats need people need their government to do to really help them. To do that, we must make our corporate tax rate competitive with our neighbors even if it does mean cutting it from 8% to 6%. Likewise we must see to it that corporations pay the real share they owe and do not misuse "loopholes" to avoid corporate citizens. We must do this to ensure we are we competitive with our neighbors so that all of our businesses don’t continue to leave - and we will do that incrementally and we will make a lot of money for our state And hundreds of millions of dollars will come in. This is not some pig-in-a-poke Republican proposal in disguise; it is just plain excellent common economic sense. O’Malley is claiming a claiming a huge success and all he has done is picked your pocket. I already told you Doug Gansler was the first to propose a wage increase over $10 an hour? Not O’Malley,Look it up. Now O’Malley and Brown are going to claim it was their idea.


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