WAMU 88.5 : News

O'Malley On Offensive At First Hearing On Maryland Minimum Wage Hike

Play associated audio
Gov. Martin O'Malley made a statewide increase in the minimum wage a priority in his last state of the state speech on Jan. 23, 2014.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Gov. Martin O'Malley made a statewide increase in the minimum wage a priority in his last state of the state speech on Jan. 23, 2014.

The first day of hearings on several bills that would raise the minimum wage in Maryland took place this afternoon in Annapolis.

Today it was the House Economic Matters Committee that took up the six different bills dealing with the state's minimum wage in one way or another.  The headlining measure comes from Gov. Martin O'Malley, and it would raise the wage to $10.10 per hour by the year 2016.

O'Malley did not testify as originally scheduled because of a funeral, but he did show up about an hour in just as delegates started questioning Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. O'Malley told lawmakers that so-called "trickle-down economics" favored by Republicans have dominated nationally for 30 years and depressed wages.  The governor said claims that the theory works aren't true.

"I would submit to you that if that were true, we would not have been coming through recession but a great period of unprecedented prosperity," O'Malley said.

But one Democrat on the committee delivered the most stinging criticism of the governor's plan, showing the distance O'Malley still has to go in selling his bill to his own party, which dominates the General Assembly. Baltimore County delegate Joseph Minnick ran a bar and restaurant for many years until it closed recently.

"To put the small businessman in this position — let him run his business the way he sees it best," Minnick said. "Because we know best how to run a business.  We shouldn't have the state telling us what we should pay our workers."

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee will also take up several bills regarding the minimum wage, including the governor's proposal.

NPR

Chasing Food Dreams Across U.S., Nigerian Chef Tests Immigration System

Tunde Wey wanted to share the food of his West African childhood. So he crossed the U.S. by bus, hosting pop-up dinners along the way. But Wey, like many immigrants, found success can unravel quickly.
NPR

Chasing Food Dreams Across U.S., Nigerian Chef Tests Immigration System

Tunde Wey wanted to share the food of his West African childhood. So he crossed the U.S. by bus, hosting pop-up dinners along the way. But Wey, like many immigrants, found success can unravel quickly.
WAMU 88.5

New Challenges To Recycling In The United States

Falling commodity prices are putting a squeeze on American recycling companies. What this means for cities, counties and the future of recycling programs in the United States.

WAMU 88.5

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

Kojo chats with Freeman Hrabowski, the president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about the future of higher education - and what he's doing to steer African-American students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.