MARYLAND

Minimum wage: Md. Senate panel votes against bill

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has voted against raising the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2015.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 8-3 on Wednesday against the measure.

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

Supporters of the measure said 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.

But opponents of the bill contended a wage increase would drive up employer costs, causing higher prices for consumers and possible layoffs.

The measure also would have raised the minimum wage for tipped workers from 50 percent to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

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