Nearly 7 of 10 Maryland voters want to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, according to a poll conducted for The Baltimore Sun.
Statewide, 69 percent of voters surveyed said they support a bill being considered in the General Assembly to increase Maryland's minimum wage from the current federal level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016.
A higher wage would help Marylanders by putting "a little bit of extra change in their pocket, and maybe they can pay up their bills," Arthur Brown Jr., a welder from Baltimore, told the Sun.
The wage increase has the support of civil rights, labor, religious and women's groups, as well as some businesses and all three Democrats running for governor. Supporters argue that raising the pay of low-wage workers would help lift some families out of poverty.
Some business groups and Republican lawmakers object to the increase, saying it would hurt the economy and workers when companies are forced to cut hours to save money.