May 12, 2014

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For Immediate Release: May 5, 2014
Contact: Stacey Mink, 410-790-9913

Gov. O’Malley Signs $10.10 Minimum Wage Bill Into Law
Increased wages will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, bolster businesses statewide
Raise Maryland successfully moved lawmakers, grassroots in two-year campaign for higher wages

ANNAPOLIS – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation today to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2018. In a year where several state legislatures have raised their state’s minimum wage in the absence of federal action, Maryland was the second state to raise their rate to $10.10, currently the highest rate in the country. This is the first time that a state minimum wage bill has been enacted since 2006.

The bill that Gov. O’Malley signed today will raise the wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.00 in January 1, 2015, and rise again to $8.25 on July 1, 2015. Workers will get subsequent raises to $8.75 on July 1, 2016 and $9.25 on July 1, 2017. The full-phase in to $10.10 will take place on July 1, 2018.
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“Today’s bill signing is an important step toward addressing income inequality in our state,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of Raise Maryland, the coalition that worked to pass the bill. “Hundreds of thousands of Maryland workers will get a well-deserved raise that reflects the true value of their work.”

A diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations, Raise Maryland is a Maryland Working Families campaign, founded in January 2013 by bringing together organizations and individuals united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase.

U.S. Rep. John Delaney said, “Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do and Marylanders should be proud of our state today. Raise Maryland played a leading role in leading the grassroots effort and I was honored to partner with them on the campaign. I was one of the first statewide or federal officials in Maryland to prioritize this issue, because I felt deeply that no Marylander who works full time should live in poverty. I was happy to support Raise Maryland’s digital efforts, because policy debates and campaigns are now won or lost online. Workers’ rights advocates, businesspeople, faith leaders, and other groups were all united in this effort, which is going to improve the lives of thousands of our friends and neighbors. As a former entrepreneur and CEO, I understand that raising the minimum wage can also help businesses by increasing productivity, reducing turnover, and increasing consumer demand.

Research from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute found that hundreds of thousands of Marylanders will benefit from the increase, putting hundreds of millions more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from up to half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,000 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

A wage of $10.10 puts Maryland among the highest minimum wage rates in the country and mirrors the current federal proposal proposed by President Barack Obama. Delaware’s minimum wage will rise to $8.25 by June 2015, the governor of West Virginia signed a bill to raise the state’s wage from $7.25 to $8.75 by 2016, Connecticut’s legislature recently enacted a $10.10 minimum wage by 2017, Hawaii will increase the state’s lowest wage to $10.10 by 2018, Minnesota will go to $9.50 by 2016 and the Vermont legislature is considering an increase to as high as $10.50. A deal is pending in Seattle to raise the wage to $15 gradually.

Maryland Working Families built the massive Raise Maryland campaign that included more than 60 organizations united to raise the wage. The coalition included 1199SEIU, 32BJ, BRIDGE Maryland, CASA de Maryland, Communities United, Jews United for Justice, NAACP, UFCW 400, Unite HERE Local 7, Moving Maryland Forward Network and many others, along with grassroots support from national groups including Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Moms Rising, Organizing for America and Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The coalition also benefited from the generous financial support from Rep. John Delaney to bolster the campaign’s social media work.

A full-time canvass knocked on more than 40,000 doors, gathered 8,000 personal letters from voters and generated more than 25,000 petition signatures, not to mention countless phone calls and emails to legislators. Grassroots activity was complemented by a vigorous social media presence, overwhelmingly positive polling, support from more than 180 businesses statewide, several high profile events with state and federal elected officials that generated positive media coverage, radio ads and a steady drumbeat of support in the media for a higher wage.

Key provisions of the Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 were stripped out or changed during consideration of the bill. The phase-in date was moved from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2018. A proposal to index the minimum wage so that it would rise during to keep pace with the cost of living was amended out of the bill. Wages for tipped workers were frozen by the House at $3.63 per hour, a measure sought by the restaurant industry. Advocates beat back a broad training wage proposal but a narrower measure has been established, allowing employers to pay workers 19 and under a subminimum wage of 85 percent of the minimum wage for the first six months of employment. Restaurants with a gross income of $400,000 are exempted from the higher rate, up from the previous amount of $250,000. Finally, an exemption for amusement parks like Six Flags that adjoins Del. Dereck Davis’ district will permit employers to pay workers 85 percent of the state minimum wage.

Other weakening proposals were beat back either in committee or on the floor of the chambers by minimum wage champions, backed by lobbying and grassroots support from the Raise Maryland coalition. A proposed two-tier system to create different minimum wage rates for different parts of the state failed to get support. An effort to move the phase-in date out to 2019 also failed.

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Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

$10.10 Minimum Wage Bill Passes in the Maryland General Assembly

April 7, 2014

For immediate release: April 7, 2014

Contact: Stacey Mink (410)790-9913

$10.10 Minimum Wage Bill Passes in the Maryland General Assembly

Increased wages will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, bolster businesses statewide

 

Raise Maryland successfully moved lawmakers, grassroots in two-year campaign for higher wages

 

ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland General Assembly today passed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2018. The bill was passed by the House of Delegates in March 89 to 46 and cleared the Senate on April 5 by a vote of 34 to 13. Today’s final concurrence vote in the House of Delegates was 87 to 47. A top priority of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, he is expected to sign the bill quickly after session ends. This is the first time that a minimum wage bill has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly since 2006.

“Raising Maryland’s minimum wage is a huge win for the hundreds of thousands of workers across the state who will get a raise, as well as the businesses and communities that will experience increased economic activity because of higher wages,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of Raise Maryland.  “Over the last 16 months, Raise Maryland’s campaign and strategy has successfully moved lawmakers and votes to achieve this progressive and meaningful raise for workers.”

A diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations, Raise Maryland is a Maryland Working Families campaign, founded in January 2013 by bringing together organizations and individuals united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase.

“My central focus as Governor of Maryland has been to strengthen and grow the ranks of our ever more diverse and upwardly mobile middle class,” said Governor O’Malley. “This year, we are building on this record of strengthening the middle class by raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10. We worked hard to bring people together and forge the consensus necessary to make this important progress possible. I commend the General Assembly for giving so many Maryland families the raise they deserve.”

The bill that will be signed by Gov. O’Malley will raise the wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.00 in January 1, 2015, and rise again to $8.25 on July 1, 2015. Workers will get subsequent raises to $8.75 on July 1, 2016 and $9.25 on July 1, 2017. The full-phase in to $10.10 will take place on July 1, 2018.

In previous efforts to raise the wage in 2011 and 2013, the measure failed in the House Economic Matters Committee and Senate Finance Committee, respectively.  In 2011, the Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck Davis chose to put the bill in his drawer to die, and in 2013 the measure failed in the Senate Finance Committee by a 3 to 8 vote. By contrast, this year the bill passed the House Economic Matters Committee by 13 to 8 and the Senate Finance Committee by 7 to 4.

Research from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute found that hundreds of thousands of Marylanders will benefit from the increase, putting hundreds of millions more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from up to half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,000 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

A wage of $10.10 puts Maryland among the highest minimum wage rates in the country and mirrors the current federal proposal proposed by President Barack Obama. Delaware’s minimum wage will rise to $8.25 by June 2015, the governor of West Virginia signed a bill to raise the state’s wage from $7.25 to $8.75 by 2016, Connecticut’s legislature recently enacted a $10.10 minimum wage by 2017, and two key House committee in the Vermont legislature voted to increase the state’s lowest wage to $10.10 as early as 2015.

Maryland Working Families built the massive Raise Maryland campaign that included more than 60 organizations united to raise the wage. The coalition included 1199SEIU, 32BJ, BRIDGE Maryland, CASA de Maryland, Communities United, Jews United for Justice, NAACP, UFCW 400, Unite HERE Local 7, Moving Maryland Forward Network and many others, along with grassroots support from national groups including Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Moms Rising, Organizing for America and Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The coalition also benefited from the generous financial support from Rep. John Delaney to bolster the campaign’s social media work.

“This win demonstrates Maryland Working Families’ ability to form effective coalitions to move elected officials and grassroots to make progressive change,” said Charly Carter, executive director of Maryland Working Families. “We see passage of a $10.10 minimum wage as an important first win but we’re not stopping here. We need to raise wages for tipped workers, win paid sick days, fight for retirement security for all and work to get big money out of politics so ordinary working people can have an equal voice in the decisions that affect us all.”

Raise Maryland has been tightly focused on legislative targets since January 2013. By the time the 2014 Maryland General Assembly session began, Raise Maryland had secured commitments from the majority of House members and nearly a majority of the Senate to support our bill. Gov. O’Malley adopted the Raise Maryland bill language and included it in his legislative package.

A full-time canvass knocked on more than 40,000 doors, gathered 8,000 personal letters from voters and generated more than 25,000 petition signatures, not to mention countless phone calls and emails to legislators. Grassroots activity was complemented by a vigorous social media presence, overwhelmingly positive polling, support from more than 180 businesses statewide, several high profile events with state and federal elected officials that generated positive media coverage, radio ads and a steady drumbeat of support in the media for a higher wage.

Key provisions of the Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 were stripped out or changed during consideration of the bill.  The phase-in date was moved from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2018. A proposal to index the minimum wage so that it would rise during to keep pace with the cost of living was amended out of the bill. Wages for tipped workers were frozen by the House at $3.63 per hour, a measure sought by the restaurant industry. Advocates beat back a broad training wage proposal but a narrower measure has been established, allowing employers to pay workers 19 and under a subminimum wage of 85 percent of the minimum wage for the first six months of employment. Restaurants with a gross income of $400,000 are exempted from the higher rate, up from the previous amount of $250,000. Finally, an exemption for amusement parks like Six Flags that adjoins Del. Dereck Davis’ district will permit employers to pay workers 85 percent of the state minimum wage.

Other weakening proposals were beat back either in committee or on the floor of the chambers by minimum wage champions, backed by lobbying and grassroots support from the Raise Maryland coalition. A proposed two-tier system to create different minimum wage rates for different parts of the state failed to get support. An effort to move the phase-in date out to 2019 also failed.

 

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Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

Lt. Governor and faith leaders will rally to #raisethewage

March 20, 2014

Please join us to #Raisethewage

Please join the Raise Maryland Coalition, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and leaders of the Maryland faith community on Monday, March 24th at 9 am at Union Bethel AME Church in Randallstown, MD to call on the Maryland Senate to pass the bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and include a raise for tipped workers.

RaiseMD event flyer 3.24.14

Radio ads supporting a $10.10 minimum wage and fair pay for tipped workers begin in Baltimore region

March 18, 2014
For Immediate Release: Contact: Stacey Mink
March 18, 2014 410-790-9913
smink@workingfamilies.org

Radio ads supporting a $10.10 minimum wage and fair pay for tipped workers begin in Baltimore region

 

Advocates use ads to direct calls to the Maryland State Senate

BALTIMORE – Minimum wage advocates began running radio ads (text below) in the Baltimore region beginning today urging legislators to raise the state’s lowest wage to $10.10 by 2017 and not to freeze wages for tipped workers.  The ads direct listeners to call their senators to voice their support for these important measures that address income inequality in Maryland. The ads will run on WBAL Radio 1090 AM through March 23 as the Senate considers the minimum wage bill. The Senate Finance Committee will hold its final work group on the measure on Wednesday, March 19 and vote on the full bill in the coming days.

Legislation is pending before the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10. The House of Delegates version of the bill, passed on March 7, raises the wage to that level but legislators also voted to cut the pay for tipped workers. Tipped workers currently receive 50 percent of minimum wage, or $3.63 an hour, but the House amended the bill to permanently freeze the tipped wage at $3.63 so that as wages go up, tipped workers are left behind.

“We’re taking to the air to let voters know that legislators are actually trying to cut wages for tipped workers,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of Raise Maryland.  “Tipped workers will see less take-home pay while customers will be responsible for more of their pay. That’s not fair. And there is no justification for giving the restaurant industry a short-cut to dodge the same minimum wage increase that will apply to all other employers in the state.”

Some facts about the effects of freezing the tipped wage in Maryland:

  • A low wage for tipped workers disproportionately affects women, who are 60 percent of tipped workers and 66 percent of restaurant servers.
  • While employers are legally responsible for making sure their tipped employees are paid the minimum wage, many tipped workers do not consistently receive this pay.
  • Freezing the tipped minimum wage at $3.63 per hour means that any pay raise for tipped workers will have to come entirely out of customer tips, while the employers of tipped workers will be free to keep their payrolls unchanged.
  • Research shows that a subminimum wage for tipped workers is associated with high rates of poverty.
  • In Maryland, the median hourly wage for restaurant servers is just $8.80 per hour.
  • Across the country, tipped workers are more than twice as likely to fall under the federal poverty line, and nearly three times as likely to rely on food stamps, as the average worker.
  • Restaurant workers in states with no subminimum for tipped workers have higher incomes and paying increased wages has not impeded growth in restaurant employment

 
The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute has found that more than 455,000 Marylanders would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, putting $456 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,600 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

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 Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

Recording of Radio Ad
Text of radio ad:
Female voice (waitress; restaurant background noise)
The Maryland General Assembly is considering raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 by 2017.
That’s what hardworking people need to pay our rent and bills, buy food and just get by.
But some lawmakers want cut pay for waitresses and other tipped workers like me.
Their proposal would freeze our pay at just $3.63 and we would never get a raise.
That helps big business owners but it sure doesn’t help me.
Or you.
Customers like you will be responsible for more of my pay than the owner of this restaurant.
That’s not fair. I know that businesses can afford to pay a higher wage.
Tell your senators that cutting pay for tipped workers is unfair. And tell them you support raising the minimum wage to $10.10. Call 410-841-3000. That’s 410-841-3000.

Legislative Leaders Speak Out on Bill to Raise Maryland’s Minimum Wage

February 26, 2014

Legislative Leaders Speak Out on Bill to Raise Maryland’s Minimum Wage

Champions urge committees to pass bills without amendments for consideration of full House and Senate

 

ANNAPOLIS – More than 20 legislators, including leaders of a House and Senate committee, today called on leaders of the committees considering raising Maryland’s minimum wage to pass the bills out of their bodies without amendments. Lawmakers want the opportunity for the full House of Delegates and Senate to deliberate on the bill. Raising the minimum wage has majority support in the House and is one vote away from similar support in the Senate. Raise Maryland will also be delivering 23,000 petition signatures to members of the House and Senate today.

Sen. Brian Frosh, Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, Del. Sheila Hixson, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and Del. Aisha Braveboy, who serves on the House Economic Matters Committee asked that Sen. Mac Middleton and Del. Dereck Davis of the Senate Finance and House Economic Matters committees favorably report the bills out so that the full General Assembly can consider the proposal.

Del. Maggie McIntosh, Chair of the House Environmental Matters Committee, Del. Anne Healy, Chair of the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and Del. Sheila Hixson have also sent a letter (attached) to Middleton and Davis, which stated:

“[W]e ask that your respective committees pass this bill with favorable reports and no amendments. With overwhelming support both within the General Assembly and in our communities across the state, this is an issue that should be reviewed by the full bodies of the House of Delegates and the Senate. We want the opportunity to weigh in on this measure and feel a responsibility to our constituents to give it our full consideration.”

Governor Martin O’Malley has introduced legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and index it to the cost of living so it doesn’t lose value over time. The measure also includes a raise for tipped workers, increasing their pay from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

“The public support for this issue is phenomenal,” said Sen. Brian Frosh. “Since this campaign began last January, more than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for a higher minimum wage.  Lawmakers have received nearly 8,000 personal letters – not form letters – from constituents sharing their stories about the difficulties they face earning the lowest wages.”

The legislative leaders also addressed some of the arguments made by opponents of the measure. “The minimum wage was $4.25 when I was elected so it’s been raised a few times since then,” said Del. McIntosh, “And I don’t recall mass job layoffs or waves of businesses shuttered because the federal government or General Assembly acted to put more money in worker’s pockets so they can take care of themselves and their families.”

“In Montgomery County, we’ve set our minimum wage even higher than this proposal, up to $11.50 by 2017,” said Del. Hixson. “However, just because our county acted to raise the wage doesn’t mean that every county should set their own rate.”

The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute has found that more than 455,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase, putting $456 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,600 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

“I came to Annapolis to lead and I challenge my committee, my delegation and the rest of the General Assembly to lead on raising wages for our low-wage workers,” said Del. Braveboy.

Since launching at the beginning of last year’s legislative session, Raise Maryland has educated Marylanders about why a raise in the minimum wage is good for workers, businesses, the state’s economy and businesses. The campaign has knocked on more than 40,000 doors, gathered thousands of petition signatures and letters and engaged Marylanders to join in a wave of support for a higher wage. Raise Maryland has also garnered support from more than 160 businesses across the state as well as from nearly 70 community, political, social action, labor and faith groups.

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 Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

New report: raising the minimum wage and tipped wage essential for fair pay

February 17, 2014

New report: raising the minimum wage and tipped wage essential for fair pay

 

A new report from the National Women’s Law Center has outlined the necessity of raising the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage in order to ensure fair pay for women and people of color in Maryland. In “Fair Pay for Women and People of Color in Maryland Requires Increasing the Minimum Wage and the Tipped Minimum Wage“, the NWLC outlines the facts and statistics that make raising the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage are key steps towards fair pay for women and people of color in Maryland.

Currently in Maryland, SB 331 / HB 295 proposes raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016, linking future wage increases to inflation and raising the tipped wage from 50% to 70% of the statewide minimum.

Gov. O’Malley, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, faith leaders, anti-poverty advocates and human service providers gather to support raising state’s minimum wage

February 3, 2014

For Immediate Release Contact: Stacey Mink

February 3, 2014 410-790-9913

smink@workingfamilies.org

 

Gov. O’Malley, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, faith leaders, anti-poverty advocates and human service providers gather to support raising state’s minimum wage

 

BALTIMORE – Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stood with a diverse group of over 30 faith leaders and anti-poverty advocates from across the state in support of raising the state’s minimum wage today at St. Vincent de Paul in Baltimore before a crowd of about 250. Representatives from the Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Unitarian faiths united to speak out for higher wages for the state’s lowest wage workers. Human service organizations that help thousands of Marylanders with food, shelter, health care and other essential services spoke out about how increasing the minimum wage would improve the lives of the individuals and families that they serve. The faith leaders were brought together by BRIDGE Maryland with assistance from the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

“A strong middle class isn’t a consequence of growth and prosperity; it’s the source of growth and prosperity,” said Governor O’Malley. “And as our economy gets stronger, it’s critical that we expand opportunity for hardworking families who play by the rules. That’s why in Maryland, we’re working to forge consensus around raising the minimum wage: to reward hard work by boosting the paychecks of 300,000 Marylanders, create more customers for Maryland businesses and grow the ranks of a diverse, upwardly-mobile middle class.”

Governor O’Malley has introduced legislation (SB 331/HB 295) in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and index it to the cost of living so it doesn’t lose value over time. The measure also includes a raise for tipped workers, increasing their pay from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

“The growing gap between the rich and the poor is staggering,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake, “and this gap will continue to grow so long as Maryland’s minimum wage can’t keep up with inflation. With more than a quarter of Baltimore’s population living below the poverty line, raising the minimum wage will not only offer increased wages, but also the infinite opportunity that comes with being financially secure.”

Along with the Governor and the Mayor, speakers included: Bishop Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore; Reverend Dr. Harlie Walden Wilson, II, Pastor, Israel Baptist Church, Baltimore; The Rev. Dr. Carletta Allen, Asbury UMC; Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities; Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg, Beth Am, Baltimore; Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions; Adam Schneider, Maryland Alliance for the Poor; and Kevin Lindamood, President and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless.

“In gathering as a faith community today, we speak on behalf of all those who come to us for food, clothing and shelter,” said Bishop Madden. “Even as we embrace them in their need, we join them in their struggle to secure financial independence through an honest day’s work. These workers deserve the comfort of knowing their hard work will enable them to provide the basic necessities for their families.”

Bill McCarthy of Catholic Charities added, “We must raise the minimum wage in order to restore hope and opportunity and to brighten the beacon as so many of our neighbors begin and continue on their journey out of poverty.”

Research from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute has found that approximately 455,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase and would also pump $456 million more into the state’s economy in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from this nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 1,600 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

“We are gratified by this show of support and leadership as we work to raise standards and wages for nearly half a million Marylanders,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of Raise Maryland. “Together, we will make a difference for hardworking residents and families while providing an economic boost for our communities.”

“People of faith across the country are alarmed at the growing divide that is leaving so many working people in impoverished conditions,” said Rev. David Carl Olson of the First Unitarian Church in Baltimore City and a leader with BRIDGE Maryland. “Prophets of all times have spoken to us about how we treat the worker and it is up to us in this time to make real the word that our scriptures offer as true.”

 

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Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

New report highlights economic benefits of a higher minimum wage in Maryland

January 31, 2014

For immediate release: January 31, 2014

Contact: Stacey Mink, Raise Maryland – (410)790-9913

 

New report highlights economic benefits of a higher minimum wage in Maryland

 Raising the wage will provide economic stimulus effect and create jobs

 

ANNAPOLIS – Raising Maryland’s minimum wage will benefit 455,000 workers, inject $456 million into the economy and create 1,600 new jobs, says a new report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute. Using the Raise Maryland legislative proposal to raise the wage as a basis, the report says that the additional spending generated by an increase in the minimum wage will “provide a modest, but meaningful boost to Maryland’s economy.”

The report, “Raising The Maryland Minimum Wage Will Benefit Nearly Half A Million Workers And Modestly Boost The State’s Economy,” is an update of earlier research done last year to demonstrate that an increase to the minimum wage will benefit Maryland workers, businesses and communities.

Governor Martin O’Malley has introduced legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and index it to the cost of living so it doesn’t lose value over time. The measure also includes a raise for tipped workers, increasing their pay from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

“Raising Maryland’s minimum wage would put much-needed money in the pockets of low-income workers who are likely to spend that additional income right away,” said David Cooper, economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. “Given current economic conditions, where tepid consumer demand is holding back employment growth, this additional consumer spending would provide a modest, but meaningful boost to Maryland’s economy.”

The report also contains interesting demographic data on who earns the minimum wage in Maryland:

  • Contrary to popular belief, minimum wage workers are not teenage part-time workers: rather, the vast majority are at least 20 years old, over half work full time, and many are struggling to support their families.
  • In Maryland, women are 57.9 percent of those affected, despite being only 50.6 percent of the state workforce.
  • The racial make-up of the state’s minimum wage workers is 42.5 percent white non-Hispanic workers, 33.4 percent are black, 16.5 percent are Hispanic and 7.7 percent are Asian or of another race/ethnicity.
  • The average age of affected workers is 33 years old. Teenagers comprise only 13 percent of the workers who would see a raise.
  • About half (48.6 percent) of affected workers have at least some college education, and more than half (56.0 percent) work full time.
  • Nearly a quarter (23.2 percent) of affected workers are parents. In fact, there are roughly 210,000 Maryland children with at least one parent that would get a raise.
  • More than half (54.6 percent) of the workers who would get a raise come from families with total family incomes of $60,000 or less. On average, affected workers earn about 39 percent of their family’s total income.

 

“This research update shows that raising the state’s minimum wage is the right thing to do for workers, businesses and our communities,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of the Raise Maryland coalition. “It is time for the legislature to act to raise wages, standards and our working families.”

Since launching at the beginning of last year’s legislative session, Raise Maryland has educated Marylanders about why a raise in the minimum wage is good for workers, businesses, the state’s economy and businesses. The campaign has knocked on more than 40,000 doors, gathered 18,000 petition signatures, more than 5,500 letters and engaged Marylanders to join in a wave of support for a higher wage. Raise Maryland has also garnered support from more than 140 businesses across the state as well as from nearly 70 community, political, social action, labor and faith groups.

The full report is available here: http://www.epi.org/blog/raising-maryland-minimum-wage-benefit-million/

 

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Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

ADVISORY: Gov. O’Malley, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, faith leaders, anti-poverty advocates and human service providers to rally to support raising state’s minimum wage

Advisory – January 31, 2014
Contact: Stacey Mink — 410-790-9913

Gov. O’Malley, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, faith leaders, anti-poverty advocates and human service providers to rally to support raising state’s minimum wage

 

What: Rally with faith leaders, anti-poverty advocates and human service providers along with elected officials to support raising Maryland’s minimum wage

Who: Gov. Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, faith leaders, low-wage workers, anti-poverty advocates, human service providers and supporters of a minimum wage increase

Where: St. Vincent de Paul, 120 North Front Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

When: Monday, February 3rd, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to noon

Editors note: This event will feature great visuals as leaders of several faith groups meet with Governor O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in front of a group of supporters.

Governor Martin O'Malley

BALTIMORE – A diverse group of faith leaders and anti-poverty advocates from across the state will rally in support of raising the state’s minimum wage on Monday, February 3 with Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at St. Vincent de Paul in Baltimore. 

Along with the Governor and the Mayor, speakers will include: Bishop Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore; Reverend Dr. Harlie Walden Wilson, II, Pastor, Israel Baptist Church, Baltimore; The Rev. Dr. Carletta Allen, Asbury UMC; Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities; Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg, Beth Am, Baltimore; Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions; Adam Schneider, Maryland Alliance for the Poor; and Kevin Lindamood, President and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless.

Governor O’Malley has introduced legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and index it to the cost of living so it doesn’t lose value over time. The measure also includes a raise for tipped workers, increasing their pay from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage. 

Research has found that approximately 472,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase, putting $466 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 4,000 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

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Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of community, labor, immigrant, civil rights and faith organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.

 

Join us for Our 2014 Kickoff in Annapolis!

January 3, 2014

Join us for Our 2014 Kickoff in Annapolis!

Join business owners, union members, faith leaders and community activists on Tuesday, January 14th at 5:45 PM at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis to show your support for the higher minimum wage in Maryland that low-wage workers deserve. Please RSVP here.

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