Minimum Wage Increase Proposed for Md. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Minimum Wage Increase Proposed for Md.

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - The minimum wage could be raised in the state of Maryland. Supporters of the increase want to raise it from $7.25 to $10 an hour by 2015.

"I think it's an awesome idea," said Krista Wheatley, who works as a server in Cambridge. "Waitresses we actually work really hard and it's a shame that we only get paid the amount that we do get paid now."

Currently, minimum wage restaurant servers are paid an hourly rate of $3.28. Wheatley said she lives off of her tips, but an increase in minimum wage would be a huge help when business is slow.

"The minimum wage, it helps a bit, but we basically live off of our tips and when it's not busy here we appreciate that hourly rate that we do get and if it were to raise I think we would appreciate it a lot more," Wheatley said.

Under the minimum wage increase proposed by the Raise Maryland campaign, tipped workers would go from making 50 percent to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.  Those numbers have some restaurant owners saying not so fast.

"I use my servers for so many different positions I'd have to cut my staff in half to even stay in business," said restaurant owner Laura Sydnor. "Just the food cost itself has gone through the roof so it's just one more thing that you are putting out to the small business owner and they just don't want us to survive, I guess."

Sydnor believes this will only add to the unemployment problems here in Maryland.

"My food costs are already through the roof, now payroll taxes are through the roof and now they want to raise the minimum wage," she said. "I just don't understand what they are thinking or what they are trying to accomplish because if they think unemployment rate is high now, it's going to sky-rocket because small businesses can't do it."

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