Yesterday, Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) signed a bill into law that requires a living wage for all employees at companies that do business with the state.
The Maryland state minimum wage is currently $6.15, and this law will raise it to $11.30 for employees of state contractors in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, $8.50 outside of the corridor. According to a New York Times article, this is the first state to enact a living wage law, but counties and cities across the U.S. have adopted similar measures:
Nationwide, 145 cities and counties have enacted living-wage bills, which generally require businesses that receive government contracts — and sometimes those that receive subsidies — to pay an amount above the federal or state minimum wage. The highest living wage in the nation is $14.75 an hour in Fairfax, Calif.