ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Dozens rally in Annapolis in support of a new plan to raise the minimum wage, but not everybody’s in favor.
Christie Ileto has both sides of the issue.
Should Maryland’s working poor get a raise?
“You live paycheck to paycheck,” said one. “It’s very hard when you make minimum wage.”
It’s a question that’s taking center stage Tuesday.
Employees and even some businesses flood Annapolis, rallying to raise Maryland’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour–which equates to $15,080 a year–to $10.10 an hour by 2016 and tie further increases to inflation.
“I’m out here for my family,” said Monica Jones, who says her daughter is struggling to make ends meet. “$7.25 is hurting her because she has a child to support, not to mention herself. She’s in college and this is not enough.”
While the message is clear for many here, some people aren’t on board with the increase.
“We can’t afford to pay them. We really can’t,” said Andre Gerald.
Gerald is a manager at the Greene Turtle in Owings Mills. He says to compensate for the proposed pay raise, they’d have to eliminate jobs–something many Maryland businesses have long argued.
But John Ulrich, a business owner in Cecil County, says otherwise.
“Ten dollars an hour at least helps get people back up and that money goes back into the economy because they’re going to spend every penny of it,” Ulrich said.
And while the wage war heats up, minimum wage workers continue to bring home $7.25 an hour.
Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties recently increased their minimum wages to reach $11.50 an hour by 2017.
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