WAMU 88.5 : News

O'Malley On Offensive At First Hearing On Maryland Minimum Wage Hike

Play associated audio
Gov. Martin O'Malley made a statewide increase in the minimum wage a priority in his last state of the state speech on Jan. 23, 2014.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Gov. Martin O'Malley made a statewide increase in the minimum wage a priority in his last state of the state speech on Jan. 23, 2014.

The first day of hearings on several bills that would raise the minimum wage in Maryland took place this afternoon in Annapolis.

Today it was the House Economic Matters Committee that took up the six different bills dealing with the state's minimum wage in one way or another.  The headlining measure comes from Gov. Martin O'Malley, and it would raise the wage to $10.10 per hour by the year 2016.

O'Malley did not testify as originally scheduled because of a funeral, but he did show up about an hour in just as delegates started questioning Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. O'Malley told lawmakers that so-called "trickle-down economics" favored by Republicans have dominated nationally for 30 years and depressed wages.  The governor said claims that the theory works aren't true.

"I would submit to you that if that were true, we would not have been coming through recession but a great period of unprecedented prosperity," O'Malley said.

But one Democrat on the committee delivered the most stinging criticism of the governor's plan, showing the distance O'Malley still has to go in selling his bill to his own party, which dominates the General Assembly. Baltimore County delegate Joseph Minnick ran a bar and restaurant for many years until it closed recently.

"To put the small businessman in this position — let him run his business the way he sees it best," Minnick said. "Because we know best how to run a business.  We shouldn't have the state telling us what we should pay our workers."

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee will also take up several bills regarding the minimum wage, including the governor's proposal.


In 'Porcelain,' Moby Searches For Validation And Finds Unlikely Success

The electronic musician's new memoir traces his journey from Connecticut suburbs to New York City raves. It's a tale of dance clubs, DJs and Manhattan in the 1990s full of self-deprecating humor.

To Survive The Bust Cycle, Farmers Go Back To Business-School Basics

Farming is entering its third year on the bust side of the cycle. Major crop prices are low while expenses like seed, fertilizer and land remain high. That means getting creative to succeed.
WAMU 88.5

Power Plant Fight In Prince George's County

A predominantly African American community in rural Prince George's County recently filed a federal civil rights complaint in response to plans to build a third power plant in one town, and fifth in the region.


Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

The New York Times says entrepreneur Peter Thiel confirms he has been bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury award to Hogan of $140 million over publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

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