Jeal­ous’ eco­nomic plan in­cludes min­i­mum wage rise

Can­di­date also calls for bet­ter tran­sit, in­ter­net

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Pamela Wood pwood@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/pwoodreporter

Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Ben Jeal­ous un­veiled pro­pos­als Wed­nes­day that he said would boost the state’s econ­omy and ex­pand job op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mary­lan­ders.

He pro­posed pro­hibit­ing com­pa­nies from ask­ing about ap­pli­cants’ crim­i­nal his­to­ries and in­creas­ing the min­i­mum wage. He also pro­posed im­prov­ing pub­lic tran­sit to shorten work­ers’ com­mutes, ex­pand­ing high-speed in­ter­net and of­fer­ing gov­ern­ment jobs to peo­ple who can’t find pri­vate em­ploy­ment.

Jeal­ous vis­ited a hair sa­lon in Bal­ti­more’s Lau­rav­ille neigh­bor­hood on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to pro­mote the plan.

“Our ‘Make it in Mary­land’ plan is re­ally about mak­ing it pos­si­ble for our en­trepreneurs and our busi­ness peo­ple to thrive and for work­ing peo­ple to thrive,” Jeal­ous said out­side the Chop Shop.

Jeal­ous, the for­mer head of the NAACP, is a front-run­ner in the crowded Demo­cratic pri­mary for gov­er­nor with Prince Ge­orge’s County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern L. Baker III. Baker also vis­ited Bal­ti­more Wed­nes­day to open an of­fice on North Howard Street.

Early vot­ing be­gins to­day and runs through June 21. Elec­tion Day is June 26.

Chief among Jeal­ous’ eco­nomic pri­or­i­ties is in­creas­ing the state’s min­i­mum wage — which is set to go to $10.10 per hour on July 1 — to $15 per hour by 2023. He also wants to phase out the sub-min­i­mum wage earned by tipped work­ers such as wait­ers and wait­resses.

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