Minimum wage increase possible
Maryland state representatives have proposed a raise in the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour starting in 2015.
The state’s current rate matches that of the Federal minimum wage. But at President Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union Address, he suggested a raise in the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Freshman Josh Milstein said he would appreciate an increase.
“It’s going to put more money in the economy because people have more money to spend,” he said.
If the measure is passed, it would be the first increase in state’s minimum wage since 2007.
Many small businesses are against the bill, considering it would put the business in tough spot financially.
Tom Trinkle, owner of Bill Bateman’s Bistro, said he doesn’t think higher wages is a substitution for working longer hours or working harder.
He said it is not an effective way to solve a problem.
“I’d rather not see this increase because the economy the way it is today it will affect the small businesses,” he said. “It absolutely could put them out of business then those people will lose their jobs.”
Bateman’s isn’t as worried about the bill because the employees are mostly tipped, so already make a lower minimum wage, Trinkle said. The fast food restaurants and small businesses are the ones that will really have to worry, he said.
Freshman Jacob Press said he doesn’t think that raising minimum wage would be good for the economy now.
“Maybe if they raised it to only $8 or $9, because that would be $3 more for everyone, every hour,” he said. “I think that if you raise it in the economy we’re in right now, that’s just going to put us in more debt.”