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NEWS
By Erin Cox, Michael Dresser and Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
By the time confetti fell in Annapolis on Monday night, state lawmakers had loosened marijuana laws, made Maryland the second state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and whittled their way through more than 2,600 bills considered during the 434th legislative session. The two major votes on marijuana decriminalization and increasing the minimum wage closed out the annual 90-day frenzy of lawmaking. Measures to create stricter penalties for drivers who cause fatal accidents while texting and to revamp Maryland's stalled medical marijuana program also received final passage.
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BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
Operators of nine McDonald's in the Baltimore area and on the Eastern Shore agreed to pay more than $250,000 in back wages and damages to 138 workers for violations of minimum wage, overtime and child labor provisions, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday. Annapolis-based franchise operators Gold Hat Inc. and Gold Hat II Inc., which have the same owner, will also pay $4,300 in civil penalties for the child labor violations, under the agreement. "The restaurant industry employs some of the most at-risk workers that we see," Mark Lara, director of the Labor Department's wage and hour division's Baltimore district office, said in a statement.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2014
Maryland lawmakers are poised to raise the minimum wage and decriminalize marijuana today as this year's General Assembly's session cruises to a close at midnight. Both measures are on the verge of passage, barring unforeseen last-minute snags, because of compromises forged in the final week. The wage bill, Gov. Martin O'Malley's top legislative priority in his final year, would gradually increase the hourly minimum pay for hundreds of thousands of workers from the current $7.25 to $10.10 by July 2018.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2014
Maryland's minimum wage will rise to $10.10 by July 2018 under a bill granted final passage by state lawmakers Monday. The measure goes to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley for his promised signature. Raising the wage above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour was O'Malley's top legislative goal during the final session of his eight years as governor, and in a statement he commended lawmakers "for giving so many Maryland families the raise they deserve.”  Maryland became the second state this year pass a hike to $10.10, the mark set by Democrats across the country seeking to address income inequality.
NEWS
Erin Cox and Timothy Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2014
The plan to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour cleared Maryland's Senate Saturday afternoon. Although lawmakers must still work out details on who would be exempted from the hike and how long it would take to implement, compromises reached by key lawmakers and Gov. Martin O'Malley earlier in the week suggest the Senate version will become law. That plan, approved by senators in a 34-13 vote, calls for incrementally raising the...
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley's chief legislative priority to raise the minimum wage cleared another hurdle Friday as the Senate granted initial approval after a marathon debate. Lawmakers made 18 different attempts to redraft the proposal that incrementally raises pay for the state's lowest-earning workers from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2018. Republicans tried to carve out more exemptions to the hike, while Democrats tried to undo some concessions that got the proposal this far. No attempts were successful, and the Senate could pass the measure as soon as Saturday.
NEWS
April 3, 2014
The General Assembly session ends Monday, and already lawmakers have sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley's desk a number of important pieces of legislation, including a bill banning discrimination against transgender individuals, reforms to Baltimore's liquor board and new protections against domestic violence. But a few major issue remain to be decided during the next few days, including: •Minimum wage. The most important item on Governor O'Malley's agenda has gotten steadily watered down.
NEWS
April 2, 2014
How easy it is to rail against the salaries of elected officials. Embedded deeply in the human psyche is the near-certainty that somewhere, somehow the people who hold public office are getting away with unarmed robbery. It's a suspicion that's easy to play on, while proving the reverse — that a taxpayer-financed pay raise might actually be overdue and a worthy investment — is a tough sell under the best of circumstances. And while we can't argue that everyone who holds such positions deserves their pay, what we do know is that the General Assembly Compensation Commission makes a good case for why Maryland's elected leaders ought to be paid more beginning next year.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Ending a standoff that had stalled the governor's top legislative priority, General Assembly leaders said Wednesday that they have reached a deal to raise Maryland's minimum wage, while also boosting the pay of workers caring for the developmentally disabled. Under terms unveiled by Sen. Thomas M. Middleton and approved by the Senate Finance Committee, the minimum wage would rise incrementally to $10.10 by July 2018, two years later than Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed. At the same time, funding for state-paid workers who care for the developmentally disabled would increase by about $30 million a year starting in fiscal 2016, Middleton said.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | April 1, 2014
About 2,000 service and maintenance workers seeking raises have yet to come to an agreement with Johns Hopkins Hospital. The workers, who are members of labor union 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, have threatened to strike beginning April 9 if the hospital does not agree to a wage increase of as much as 40 percent for some employees, though most would get more modest raises. The starting salary of the workers represented by the union ranges from $10.71 to $27.88 per hour, depending on the job, according to Hopkins officials.
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