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Maryland Minimum Wage Bill Voted Down By State Senate Panel

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The Maryland State Capitol Building is seen in Annapolis 23 November 2007 33 miles (53kms) east of Washington, DC. Forty-nine nations, organizations and individuals have been invited to attend the US-sponsored international Middle East conference November 26-28 in Annapolis, according to US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. US President George W. Bush will host the international conference to launch the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, following a seven-year freeze. AFP PHOTO/Jim | Getty Images

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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