LT. GOVERNOR BROWN HOLDS WOMEN’S ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANCE OF RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE
Women from Across Maryland Highlight the Impact a Raise Would Have on Their Businesses, Families, and Communities
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 1, 2014) - TODAY, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown held a women’s roundtable discussion with female business leaders, workers, advocates, faith leaders, and legislators to discuss the impact raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would have on the lives of women in Maryland. The Lt. Governor was joined by Senators Nancy King and Catherine Pugh, as well as Delegates Aisha Braveboy and Joseline Pena-Melnyk. Participants also included: Valerie Ervin, Executive Director of the Center for Working Families; Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, President of Montgomery College; Sheila Brooks, Founder and CEO, SRB Communications; Barbara Goldberg Goldman, President, Regal Domestics; advocates from the Raise Maryland Coalition; and several Maryland workers.
Legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017 passed the House of Delegates on March 7. The bill is now being considered by the Maryland Senate.
“Growing Maryland's economy and building a more competitive workforce starts by ensuring that hardworking Marylanders can earn a fair day's pay,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “Women make up a disproportionate percentage of our state's minimum wage earners, so raising the wage to $10.10 will ensure a fairer workplace environment. Single mothers working 40 hour work weeks shouldn't have to choose between buying new school clothing for their children or paying the rent in Maryland, I know we can do better than that. I'm optimistic that the Senate will continue to work with us so that we can deliver a meaningful pay raise to our state's lowest paid workers.”
According to findings from the Economic Policy Institute, women in Maryland account for 55 percent of those who would benefit from a minimum wage increase. Nearly 300,000 Maryland women would receive, on average, an additional $1,974 in wage income after the full phase-in period to $10.00 per hour (compared with $1,889 for 240,000 affected men).
The study suggests those who would be affected by a minimum wage increase have low-to-moderate family incomes; over half have family incomes below $60,000. Nearly a quarter of those affected by increasing the Maryland minimum wage to $10.00 are parents, and about a third are married. Raising the minimum wage would benefit 350,000 Maryland children with at least one parent affected by the increase.
“As we’ve fought for a minimum wage increase in the General Assembly, we’ve had a strong and consistent ally in Lt. Governor Brown,” said State Senator Catherine Pugh. “Raising the minimum wage is going to have a positive impact on women throughout our state, and the Maryland Women’s Caucus will continue to work with the O’Malley-Brown administration to pass this important bill.”
“As an entrepreneur and long-time advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses, I know that raising Maryland’s minimum wage will strengthen our businesses and our economy,” said Sheila Brooks, CEO of SRB Communications. “The O’Malley-Brown Administration is taking the right approach: bringing people together and fighting to raise the minimum wage so that more women in Maryland have a chance to thrive and succeed.”
“As a small business owner for the past 29 years, I’ve seen first-hand that minimum wage workers are some of the hardest working, most dedicated members of our communities,” said Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Founder of Regal Domestics and Quorum, LLC. “Many business owners and employers are fighting to raise the minimum wage because we want what’s best for our workers, and their families. By strengthening our workforce and paying them a family-supporting wage, we’ll make Maryland an even better place to start and grow a business.”
"Women in Maryland are disproportionately affected by low wages because they make up the majority of low-wage and tipped workers," said Ricarra Jones, chair of the Raise Maryland campaign. "When we raise the wage, we are also raising up women and their families. That's why we need to raise the wage to $10.10 by 2017."
During this year’s legislative session, Lt. Governor Brown is playing a leading role in the passage of the Administration’s legislation to raise the minimum wage. In addition to testifying alongside Governor O’Malley before the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committees, the Lt. Governor has spoken at several community events to raise awareness and support for the proposal.
Other leaders in attendance today included: Anne Sheridan, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families; Courtney Watson, Howard County Council; Karenthia Barber, Professional Development Associated; Pat Lippold, SEIU; Regan Vaughan, Catholic Charities of Baltimore; Carnitra White, Department of Human Resources; Ricarra Jones, Raise Maryland; Charly Carter, Maryland Working Families; Ricki-Jane Miller, a worker form Ft. Meade; Betty Schuler, an airport worker; Rev. Gloria Swieringa, Communities United; Rev. Lorretta Taylor-Boyd, Communities United; Monica Good, an airport worker.
Press Office of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown