Ken and I intend to focus on improving the overall quality of life in our state by working to eliminate the 74 new taxes and fees that have hammered our middle class and driven many Maryland families into poverty. We want to make your dollar stronger rather than decrease its value.
This is why we do not support raising the minimum wage at this time. A February 2014 study from the Congressional Budget Office found that 500,000 workers would lose their jobs if the federal minimum wage was increased to $10.10. A similar change in Maryland's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.00 by 2015 lead to significant job losses.
Our state's overall unemployment rate is hovering at 6.8%, according to the Department of Business and Economic Development. But many regions have been hit much harder by the bad economic choices of the current administration, which has driven businesses and jobs out of the state. Baltimore City tops the list at 10.2%. Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore have also been hit hard, with some counties reporting unemployment rates over 10%.
This is not the time to put entry level wage earners at risk. We do not want to see those currently employed lose their jobs in this very tough job market. Rather, by eliminating taxes and fees, we want to put more money in their pocket so their wages will go further.
For more background, read excerpts from the Congressional Budget Office report.