A coalition of religious leaders joined the governor and other top elected officials in Baltimore to call for an increase in the minimum wage.
Governor Martin O’Malley has made raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016 a top priority for this legislative session.
Critics have argued that increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour would hurt businesses and lead to job cuts.
Mathew Hanson with the Raise Maryland Campaign counters that the effort to raise the minimum wage has many backers in the business community.
“There are over a 140 businesses across the state of Maryland who have signed to raise the minimum wage, because they know that if workers are paid a fair wage they work harder. It’s good for the economy. It’s good for businesses. It’s good for workers.”
Advocates say that an increase in the minimum wage would create an estimated 16-hundred jobs and boost the income of 400-thousand state residents.