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Maryland Senate Bill Would Hike Minimum Wage, But Not Until 2018

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The Maryland Senate is scheduled to take up a bill raising the state's minimum wage this morning, but it's a different version than one passed by the House of Delegates last month.

The bill still raises the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in Maryland, but it does so on a longer timeline than the initial proposal that was submitted by Gov. Martin O'Malley which the House approved. The $10.10 figure will now be reached in July 2018 — O'Malley wanted the increase by 2017 — and there will be no future increases tied to inflation as was sought by O'Malley.

Senate president Mike Miller expects his chamber to approve the bill and send it back to the House in time for Delegates to take it up before adjourning for the year Monday.

"The bill is a compromise. And a lot of what we do here is a compromise. There are a lot of Chamber of Commerce people who will not like this, who want to continue to pay $7.25. There are people in the areas next to the border who will not be happy because Delaware is at $7.75 and Pennsylvania and Virginia are still low [at $7.25]," he said.

The councils in Maryland's two largest counties — Montgomery and Prince George's — already raised the minimum wage locally last year to levels higher than what the state is poised to do.

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