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Maryland Leaders Likely to Act to Raise Minimum Wage This Week

Leaders say that if a bill to boost Maryland's minimum wage had been under consideration earlier, Tanger Outlet might have located its mall outside Prince George's County.

The regional effort by Maryland and District officials to raise the minimum wage enters a critical phase this week in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, reports the Washington Post, with complications that include allowing some municipalities to opt out of the wage increase.

Last month, lawmakers from three localities announced a collaborative effort to lift the minimum wage to at least $11.50 an hour by 2016, the Post said.

Earlier this month the Post reported that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley launched an online petition drive to raise the state’s minimum wage. His office is working on a bill to introduce next year, but the governor has not said how much he would increase the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

In Prince George’s County, the bill is on the County Council agenda for Tuesday, the last scheduled legislative session of 2013, the newspaper said. County Executive Rushern L. Baker III has said establishing a county minimum wage could hurt a locality that has struggled to attract top retailers.

That trend will be reversed at least in part Friday when Tanger Outlets at National Harbor opens. County officials said that, had the minimum wage bill been pending when Tanger was deciding where to locate, the company might have chosen a site outside of Prince George’s.

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