ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a measure to increase the state's minimum wage in steps over several years.
O'Malley, a Democrat who made the bill a priority of his last legislative session as governor, signed the measure Monday in Annapolis.
The state's minimum wage will rise from $7.25 an hour to $8 in January. The hourly wage will reach $8.25 in July 2015 and $8.75 in July 2016. It will go up to $9.25 in July 2017 and $10.10 in July 2018.
O'Malley says it's not fair that some people play by the rules, work 16 hours a day and are still faced with raising their children in poverty.
U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who served as labor secretary in O'Malley's administration, returned to Annapolis to applaud the measure.