Minimum Wage Bill Stalled

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The bill that would increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has been stalled in the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Thomas Middleton (D-Charles), chair of that committee says that he will not move on the minimum wage proposal until an agreement to raise the wages of workers who care for the developmentally disabled has been reached. Middleton wants to raise the hourly wage for workers who care for the developmentally disabled to a level that is higher than the proposed minimum wage increase.

Workers who care for the developmentally disabled in community-based programs supported by the state earn an average of $9.82 per hour, about 35 percent more than the current minimum wage. Senator Middleton wants to assure that the difference in wages received by minimum wage earners and the wages earned by those who care for the developmentally disabled is maintained.

Minimum wage supporters, including Governor Martin O’Malley and U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), held a rally in Catonsville, Maryland, in support of the bill on Thursday, March 20th. Another rally held Monday, March 24th, at the Union Bethel AME Church, 8615 Church Lane, Randallstown, Maryland, featured Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown who spoke in support of the minimum wage increase. The Maryland House of Delegates already has approved a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

3/26/14 Terence Cooper, Legislative Director