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Hundreds Turn Out For Maryland's Minimum Wage Hearing

Hundreds of people turned out for a hearing this afternoon in Annapolis to discuss a bill that would raise Maryland's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by 2016.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday afternoon out for a hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee in Annapolis. Some were for and some were against a bill raising Maryland's minimum wage. WHAG's Dawn White was there and shows us what both sides have to say about this heated issue.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown believes the state can accomplish more by increasing the minimum wage.

"We think it's doable. It's achievable, and quite frankly, we think rural communities in Maryland and small businesses in Maryland will benefit from the increased consumption due to an increase in the minimum wage. They should benefit as well," Brown (D) said.

"It would actually take us a step further into being independent and not dependent on the government system," said Tiffany Beroid, a low-wage worker.

Supporters say making the minimum wage $10.10 an hour would help low-wage workers make a living wage, but opponents say some of those workers could lose their jobs if the bill passes.

Joe Parsley owns the Frederick Shell Car Wash and came to Annapolis to testify against the bill.

"Currently, an increase to $10.10 an hour would cost my car wash roughly $45,000 a year in additional expense and payroll, social security tax," Parsley said.

Delegate Neil Parrott introduced the County Choice Bill Tuesday afternoon, on the same day as the minimum wage bill, which is sponsored by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

"There's no doubt people would lose their jobs. We look at Europe right now, at McDonalds. They have where you come right up to the station and you order just like how you would at Sheetz or at Wawa. You don't talk to anyone. For sure that would be coming to Maryland at a McDonalds near you," said Parrott (R - Washington County).

The bill would also increase tipped workers from 50 to 70 percent of the state's base pay. It will have a hearing in a the Senate Finance Committee this Thursday.

"The most important thing is that we need to take action so we grow our economy, not actions that depress wages, but actions that actually reward hard work," said Gov. Martin O'Malley, (D - Maryland).

You can read the bill by clicking here.
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