Minimum wage and paid sick leave proposals fail to advance in Maryland

The Maryland General Assembly’s most recent session ended in a flurry of legislative action, with new laws passed that legalized medical marijuana, tightened gun restrictions and increased the state’s gas taxes.

But two bills that would largely affect low-wage workers failed to advance out of legislative committees, leaving advocates to regroup for next year’s session.

One proposal would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour by 2015. After that, the wage floor would be indexed to inflation.

That legislation did not muster enough votes in the Senate Finance Committee to make it to the floor for a full vote. The panel voted down the measure 8-3 in March.

Another bill, the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, would have made it mandatory for employers to offer paid sick leave to their workers. Under the plan, workers would earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Only one other state, Connecticut, has such a law on its books. Several cities, including the District, have mandatory paid sick leave laws.

The sick leave proposal was withdrawn after it failed in House Economic Matters committee.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.

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