Md. Has First Statewide 'Living Wage' Law

Maryland’s governor signed the nation’s first statewide “living wage” law this week, requiring state contractors to pay workers at least $8.50 per hour and $11.30 per hour in expensive urban areas.

There are similar local ordinances elsewhere in the country, but worker rights advocates say this is the first statewide living wage law, reports AP. Labor organizations and civil rights groups generally support such legislation, but the National Federation of Independent Business lobbied against the Maryland bill because it could hurt small companies.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, of the Maryland living wage legislation.

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