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Md. Senate advances minimum wage hike

ANNAPOLIS — A measure to raise Maryland’s minimum wage has moved a step further.

The Senate gave initial approval to the bill Friday, after rejecting amendments supporters said could have jeopardized the measure’s passage in the House of Delegates.

A Senate vote could come as soon as this weekend. Maryland’s 90-day legislative session is scheduled to end Monday at midnight.

The bill would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.00 in January. It would go up to $8.25 in July 2015; $8.75 in July 2016; $9.25 in July 2017 and $10.10 in July 2018.

The measure 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. That will still need approval by the House.