Minimum Wage Bill Passes in the Md. House of Delegates

- ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A bill that would raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017 passed Friday in the Maryland House of Delegates, with a vote of 89 to 46. 

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take action during the week of March 10, 2014. Officials say the vote marks the first time that a minimum wage bill has been passed by the full House of Delegates since 2006. 

A wage of $10.10 an hour would put Maryland among the highest minimum wage rates in the country, and mirrors the current federal proposal by President Obama. 

According to officials, raising the minimum wage has considerable popularity in the State of Maryland. Three polls conducted during the fall and winter have pegged public support at least 69 percent, with the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents supporting the key provisions of the governor's proposal. 

The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute found that more than 455,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase, putting $454 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in the new consumer spending and would create more than 1,600 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand. 

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