ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Members of the House Economic Matters Committee Monday advanced the minimum wage increase bill by a vote of 13-8.
The bill now heads back to the House of Delegates for a vote.
“No one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty,” Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement issued late Monday night. “I commend the members of the Committee for their hard work, and I look forward to the bill advancing to a vote before the full House of Delegates.”
The bill would raise the current rate of minimum wage from $7.25 scaled to $10.10 over three years.
“Under Chairman Davis' leadership, tonight's Committee vote represents an important step towards ensuring that more of Maryland’s workers can earn a family-supporting wage and climb the ladder of opportunity towards success,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly to raise the wage for Maryland’s working families.”
A Congressional Budget Office report released in February indicated that passing a minimum wage increase at the federal level would help 16.5 million low-wage workers by 2016, but would also cut about 500,000 jobs.
Additionally, a report from the Maryland Foundation for Research and Economic Education, a pro-business group, found that raising the minimum wage would increase the price of consumer goods, reduce employment and personal income, weaken the state's competitive position compared to adjacent states with lower labor costs, slow the growth state product and slow population growth and weaken real estate values.
The Economic Policy Institute contends increasing the minimum wage would generate $500 billion in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,600 new full-time jobs.
O'Malley made raising the minimum wage in Maryland a priority in his final state of the state address.
If passed, the law would begin to take effect July 1, 2014 with an immediate increase to $8.20 an hour for minimum wage employees.