BALTIMORE - Attorney General Doug Gansler , a Democrat who is planning to run for governor, is calling for the minimum wage to be increased from $7.25 to $10 an hour within the next two years. Gansler made his intentions public at the Service Employees International Union headquarters in Gaithersburg .
Gansler said he is joining with Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat, to make this a priority in the upcoming General Assembly session in Annapolis. Delaney has already pledged to use some of his own funds to help campaign to raise the state's minimum wage.
"Clearly the time has come to raise the minimum wage here in Maryland," Gansler said in a statement. "While the economy shows signs of recovery, too many working families are struggling. We can and we must do better. Raising the minimum wage is one step we can take to strengthen the middle class, which is fundamental to growing our economy here in Maryland."
Gansler said the take-home pay for a full-time minimum wage worker is $15,000 a year, which is still several thousands of dollars below the poverty line. He added that 19 states and the District of Columbia have already increased the minimum wage along with a handful of local municipalities that have local ordinances mandating wage standards above both federal and state policies.
Gansler's announcement came on the same day that Del. Keith E. Haynes (D-44) announced that he plans to introduce legislation which will increase the Maryland's minimum wage to $12.50 per hour.
Haynes said he will pre-file the bill in the fall and continue to build support for his initiative
"Many of my constituents are really hurting," Haynes said in a statement. "It is very hard to survive much less live on a minimum wage salary and we need to do what we can to increase the quality of living for people in this state."