Md. Officials Team Up to Raise Minimum Wage

Md. Officials Team Up to Raise Minimum Wage

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler joined Congressman John Delaney's campaign to raise minimum wage across the state to $10.10 an hour by 2016.
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - If you're a full-time, minimum wage worker in Maryland, making $7.25 an hour at 40 hours a week, you're making $15,600 a year; and if you're a family of three, that leaves you thousands of dollars below the Federal Poverty Line.

Earlier this week, fast-food employees across the country went on strike, demanding a pay raise of $15 an hour. Now Congressman John Delaney, the Maryland Attorney General and Progressive Maryland have stepped up to the plate, working to increase minimum wage to $10.10 cents an hour by 2016.

"Being able to sustain themselves and their families is our priority," said Kate Planco Waybright, Progressive Maryland executive director. 

Latonya King has knocked on more than 5,000 doors talking to Marylanders about why it's important to raise minimum wage. She says some say it's too little too late, but Latonya believes that three extra dollars an hour can go a long way.

"$7.25 is definitely not enough. I let them know that we're working for a goal of at least $10.10 by 2016, and they also comment that 'that's probably not enough either," said King. 

Delaney says raising the minimum wage directly helps working families in Maryland, saying he believes that if done correctly, raising minimum wage is good for local businesses. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler agrees, saying higher wages equals employee retention.

"You don't have to have the constant turnover where you're constantly retraining folks, and they're going to stay longer, they're going to have more loyalty to the company, more dedication, and they'll be able to survive and spend money, and put it back into our economy more effectively," said Gansler.

A long way to go, but Maryland officials are hopeful working families will soon earn a livable income.
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