Mar 21, 2005
In Maryland, the number of "working poor" is about 55,000. The majority work at minimum wage jobs and are helping to support their families.
In early March, the state Senate passed a bill with a very small $1.00 an hour increase in the minimum wage, bringing it up to $6.15 an hour. If it passes both Houses, it would take effect this coming October.
But an amendment attached to the bill has been kept on the "QT." It would allow businesses offering health benefits to deduct the amount spent on those benefits from their employees' wages, down to $5.15 an hour.
Of course, the politicians made a big fuss that they were concerned about the "plight of the poor." The Senate president claimed, "$5.15 an hour is an embarrassment. No one should have to work for that wage."
That sure takes the prize in hypocrisy!