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Maryland Senate Panel to Vote on Minimum Wage Bill

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    A Maryland state Senate panel is expected to vote on a measure that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2015.

    A vote by the Maryland Senate Finance Committee could come as soon as Wednesday.

    Maryland's current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

    Supporters of the measure say that low-wage 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 measure would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from 50 percent to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.