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Senate committee approves minimum wage hike

ANNAPOLIS — A measure to raise the minimum wage in Maryland continues to move forward.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee passed the bill on a 9-3 vote Thursday. That sends it to the Senate floor.

The measure phases in increases from $7.25 to $8.00 in January, $8.25 in July of 2015, $8.75 in July of 2016 and $9.25 in July of 2017. It would rise to $10.10 in July of 2018.

The bill freezes the minimum wage for tipped workers at $3.63.

An employer may pay an employee who is 19 or younger 85 percent of the minimum wage for her first six months.

It includes a four-year 3.5 percent mandated increase for community service providers who work with the developmentally disabled to keep their pay above minimum wage.