Carroll County Times

Minimum wage hearing postponed, Jock Menzies Act advances in short day for lawmakers

A Senate committee hearing of Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has been postponed to Monday.

The hearing, which was scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Senate Finance Committee, was one of nearly 100 bills that got a new hearing date due to snow. The Finance Committee rescheduled its hearing of O'Malley's minimum wage bill to Monday at noon.

While most county and state workers took a day off on Thursday, lawmakers showed up at their regular time.

Forty-four of 47 senators were in the Senate when it convened at 10:15 a.m., earlier than the body convenes on some snow-free days during the 90-day session. And in less than 30 minutes, senators made quick work of passing 21 seemingly uncontroversial bills.

One, introduced by Sen. Ed DeGrange, D-Glen Burnie, would add light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs to the list of Energy Star products exempt from the sales and use tax during President's Day weekend each year.

In the House of Delegates, 117 of 141 delegates convened at 10:44 a.m.

The House passed 14 bills overwhelmingly and sent others toward a final vote.

One bill that is heading to its third and final reading after the House approved of it Thursday is legislation called the Jock Menzies Act, led by Del. Steve Schuh, R-Gibson Island.

John T. "Jock" Menzies III, chairman of The Terminal Corp. and founder, president and chairman of American Logistics Aid Network, died last August when he fell from a private trolley cart at his home on Kinloch Circle in the Glen Oban neighborhood of Arnold.

In response to the tragedy, Schuh and Sen. John Astle, D-Annapolis, have submitted House Bill 335 and Senate Bill 329.

The bills would add the type of cart, or cliffside elevator, Menzies died using to a list of elevators that require specified registration and inspection.

The House could take up the bill for a final vote as soon as Friday. In the Senate, the same bill has already received a favorable report from the Finance Committee.