The state became an object of scorn for conservatives after lawmakers passed legislation that would have forced Wal-Mart to pay more for health care (the measure never went into effect because it was blocked by the courts), and business groups cried foul over a $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage that the General Assembly approved last year.
But Maryland's living wage legislation has drawn less attention, in part because other states do not appear ready to follow. Business groups, advocates and neutral observers who watch the issue said that while other states have considered living wage laws, none is on the verge of enacting one.
The living wage has played out as an "extreme extension" of the minimum wage debate, said Marc Donohue, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business trade group that opposes both minimum-wage increases and living wage laws.
May 9, 2007
Maryland passes 'living wage' law
What is wrong with these people?