WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland General Assembly Will Debate Minimum Wage, Marijuana Laws

Play associated audio

The Maryland General Assembly convened today in Annapolis for its annual 90-day session, and this year's gathering is expected to be particularly eventful.

Both branches of the General Assembly are likely to pass some sort of minimum wage hike, following in the footsteps of the councils in the state's two most populous counties: Montgomery and Prince George's. How much the rate will go up is in question, and it's not likely to be as high as the $11.50 in the year 2017 the two counties approved locally.

The proposal with the most support right now would make the minimum wage $10.10 per hour in Maryland. O'Malley says raising the minimum wage will keep a focus on "rewarding hard work and expanding opportunity."

Republicans, like Senate GOP leader David Brinkley of Frederick County, argue that it's better for the state to let the federal government raise the minimum wage.

"When you look at western Maryland and the Eastern Shore... until West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and other states have a corresponding minimum wage, you put Maryland employers at a disadvantage," Brinkley says.

On the issue of marijuana, support is gaining to legalize it in Maryland along the lines of what has been done in Colorado. But even legalization's most ardent supporters believe lawmakers will not want to touch such a controversial issue in an election year, so this session could be all about setting up the issue for next year.

Beyond the headlining issues, there will be plenty of politics and posturing in the statehouse. Two delegates are running for governor, while two others are serving as running mates for different campaigns and four members of the General Assembly are running for attorney general. Their work in this session will no doubt be used in their campaigns to court voters.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Here's The Buzz On America's Forgotten Native 'Tea' Plant

It's called yaupon. Native Americans once made a brew from its caffeinated leaves and traded them widely. With several companies now selling yaupon, it may be poised for a comeback.
WAMU 88.5

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for Voting Rights

Kojo explores the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper who became an outspoken voice in the civil rights movement and the fight for voting rights.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys and Gal

Chrysler recalls cars to boost their cybersecurity. Microsoft debuts its new Windows 10 operating system. And navigation tech could bring us robotic lawn mowers. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.