MICHELLE JANAYE NEALY
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- The Maryland Senate Finance Committee is considering a bill that would increase Maryland's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2015.
The state's current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal rate.
Supporters of the measure say that Maryland workers are in desperate need of a raise and insist that higher wages would increase consumer spending and inject millions into the state's economy.
Opponents of the legislation argue that a wage increase would drive up employer costs, causing higher prices for consumers and possible layoffs.
If passed, the legislation under consideration Thursday would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from 50 percent to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.
It also would adjust the minimum wage annually with the cost of living.
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