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Maryland Senate holds hearing to raise minimum wage

The bill would raise minimum wage in Maryland to $10 an hour by 2015

By Janvi Raichura, Online News Editor
March 15, 2013
On March 7, the Maryland Senate Committee held a hearing for the proposal to raise the minimum wage in Maryland to $10 per hour by 2015. Currently, the minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour and is in accordance with the federal minimum wage mandate.

Above, a map of the hourly minimum wage in the U.S. Courtesy of Medill on the Hill
Above, a map of the hourly minimum wage in the U.S.
If passed, the bill would also increase the minimum wage for tipped workers, such as waiters and hair dressers from 50 percent to 70 percent. It would also annually adjust minimum wage to the cost of living. According to Raise Maryland, a website dedicated to lobbying to political officials to raise Maryland's minimum wage, only 19 other states and D.C. require businesses to pay minimum wage workers more than the federal mandated amount.

For someone working a full-time minimum wage job, the salary would be about $15,000 annually. In a recent interview, Maryland State Senator Rob Garagiola, a sponsor of the bill, stated that this salary is not sustainable income. "Someone making minimum wage, working full time, is earning a little more than $15,000 a year, which is probably barely enough to get a two-bedroom apartment, let alone food and clothing," said Garagiola.

Proponents of raising minimum wage are not only the bill's sponsors. According to Raise Maryland, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek supports raising Maryland's minimum wage. In addition, President Obama also supports raising the federal minimum wage, as stated in his State of the Union address earlier this year.

Read more: Proposed minimum wage could have unintended effects (opinion)

Should the minimum wage be raised from $7.25 to $10 in Maryland?
  • Yes!
  • No!
  • Maybe up to $8 or $9.
  • They should just abolish minimum wage.
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Many Blazers who work part-time also support the proposal. Senior Ife Adelona, a current employee at Fuddruckers, has a job as a way to make extra cash and to not inconvenience her mother. She supports an increase in the minimum wage. "I want a lot of things, [and] I don't want to make my mother to pay for them," she said.

Senior Michel Devynck, who worked at the Congressional Country Club last summer, is trying to save money for college as well as a car. Although he supports an increase in the minimum wage, he is also aware of the potential repercussions it could have. "It would be great for a student like me because that would make a huge difference financially," he said. "But I think it might make it harder to find a job as a teenager because employers wouldn't be able to hire as many people depending on their budget."