Democrats call for rush on wage bills

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - More than 20 Democrats in Maryland’s legislature are calling on their colleagues to get the minimum wage increase bills to the House and Senate floor as soon as possible.

Gov. Martin O'Malley’s proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee. Each committee should give it a favorable report with no amendments and bring it out for floor debates, the Democrats said in a news conference Wednesday.

Minimum wage advocacy groups have collected about 23,000 petition signatures for O'Malley’s bill, most signed in person, not online, and about 7,000 letters of support, said Matt Hanson, of Maryland Working Families.

The first committee hearing on these bills was in the House on Feb. 11.

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