STATE HOUSE APPROVES AMENDED MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE BILL The bill no longer includes an increase to the current minimum wage for tipped employees, no longer provides for automatic future increases and delays by six months each annual incremental increase that will bump the wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour by 2017. Next up is Senate consideration. AMENDED STATE MINIMUM WAGE BILL ALLOWS TWO HIGHER MINIMUM WAGES The bill as passed in the State House does not roll back local minimum wage ordinances that were approved late last year by the County Councils in Prince George's County and Montgomery County. The local minimum wage ordinances there provide for a local minimum wage of $11.50 per hour by 2017. CAPACITY CROWD AT THE 25TH ANNUAL STARS OF THE INDUSTRY AWARDS LUNCHEON The 260 attendees recognized Lodging and Allied Members whose professionalism exemplify the highest standards of excellence in the lodging industry in Maryland. For a list of the Award winners click here. THANK YOU ALLIED MEMBERS AT 25TH ANNUAL ALLIED MEMBER TRADE SHOW Prior to the 25th Annual STARS of the Industry Awards Luncheon, 31 Allied members had an opportunity to showcase their products and services to all Award Luncheon attendees. This free member service is available every year on a first come first served basis. For a list of the 2014 exhibitors click here. CONGRATULATIONS GAIL SMITH - HOWARD Gail, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, was recently elected by the membership to serve as 2014 Secretary of the MH&LA Board of Directors. As Secretary, Gail will now serve on the Executive Committee and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. STATE BUDGET DEFICIT FORECAST FOR THE CURRENT AND NEXT FISCAL YEAR The Board of Revenue's projection is based largely on stagnant wages/salaries and slow economic growth, particularly in the 4th quarter of 2013. As a result the General Assembly will have to address a $127 million deficit in the current fiscal year budget and $111 million in the next fiscal year budget.