Rep. Donna Edwards hopes Maryland will help inspire a federal minimum wage hike, but she says the minimum wage bill passed by the House of Delegates hurts tipped workers.
The bill sets the tipped minimum wage at $3.63 an hour. Currently it's set at half the general minimum wage, so it rises with general increases.
Edwards, a Democrat, called on Maryland's Senate to raise tipped workers' base wage to $10.10 at a news conference Wednesday. The House bill would phase in a general increase from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2017.
Edwards says the restaurant industry grew even during the recession, so she doesn't believe boosting tipped workers' wages would devastate it.
She is co-sponsoring a federal bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 with gradual increases for tipped workers.