LAST CALL -- STARS OF THE INDUSTRY AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE DUE ON JANUARY 31 The 25th Annual STARS of the Industry Awards Program is a once a year opportunity to honor outstanding accomplishments by lodging industry professionals and lodging industry properties in Maryland. For more details on the awards categories or to submit nominations online click here. LAST CALL FOR TOURISM DAY IN ANNAPOLIS This free grassroots advocacy event on Friday, January 31 is a great opportunity for tourism industry professionals from across Maryland to share the positive impact of tourism on Maryland's economy with key decision makers in Annapolis. To register click here. MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IS GOVERNOR'S TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY Key elements of the Governor's proposal include phased in increases to $10.10 an hour by 2016, automatic increases based on inflation beginning in 2017 and a cash wage for tipped employees of at least 70% of the minimum wage. NO CONSENSUS IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE COMPONENTS While General Assembly approval of some increase is all but certain, there is no consensus yet on how much or on automatic increases. MH&LA will continue to participate in a coalition of key stakeholders and will continue to aggressively advocate the lodging industry's positions on this issue. MH&LA TESTIFIES ON STATE TOURISM PROMOTION FUNDING At a recent hearing before a key State Senate subcommittee, MH&LA presented testimony in support of full funding of all elements of the Governor's proposed FY15 budget that promote travel and tourism and opposing recommendations or efforts to reduce funding for the Maryland Tourism Development Board. DECEMBER 2013 STR REPORT IS AVAILABLE ON THE MH&LA WEBSITE To view the report go to mdlodging.org, click on Members - Statistics and Research and look for Maryland Monthly Statistics December 2013. NOTE: This report is provided as an MH&LA member service and requires member log in to access. For assistance with your member log in, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.