AG Gansler: Hardworking Marylanders Deserve a Raise
Attorney General urges Maryland lawmakers to increase the minimum wage
Baltimore, MD (February 11, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler told the House Economic Matters Committee today that Maryland families need and deserve a pay hike. As the first statewide official to call for an increase to the minimum wage, Attorney General Gansler testified in support of two similar measures that would raise the standard of living for working families, especially women who comprise 62 percent of the minimum wage workforce and represent two-thirds of the breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families.
"Raising the minimum wage will boost the state's economy and more importantly, the purchasing power of hundreds of thousands of hardworking Maryland families," said Attorney General Gansler. "Nearly a half-million Maryland workers, most of whom are women with families to support, need and deserve this pay hike."
From the letters of support for HB295 and HB187:
A full-time worker earning $7.25 per hour makes about $15,000 a year, several thousand dollars below the federal poverty line. Since 2009, real wages for Maryland low-wage workers have declined by a nation-leading $1.24. A worker earning minimum wage would have to work 135 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom unit at fair market rent. Moreover, two-thirds of women are either the breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families, yet they comprise more than 62 percent of minimum wage workers. Tipped workers, specifically servers, experience almost three times the poverty rate of the workforce as a whole and are two times more likely to be food stamp recipients than the general population.
Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than Maryland and 17 states have a higher tip credit rate. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia index their minimum wage to the cost of living. Moreover, our two most populous counties, Prince George's County and Montgomery County, have increased their local minimum wage rate minimum wage rate to $l1.50 by 2017. Now is the time for Maryland to raise its minimum wage.
To view the letters of support from Attorney General Gansler, visit:
For HB295 - http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/HB295_Min_Wage_Ltr_021114.pdf
For HB187 - http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/HB187_Min_Wage_Ltr_021114.pdf