Senate committees to review pretrial, wage bills

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Local,Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — This week a Senate committee plans to take up another bill that would reform Maryland's bail-setting process.

Senate Bill 973, filed by Sen. Brian Frosh, would create a pretrial services unit to screen new arrestees. The idea would be to free the majority before trial and only incarcerate the ones who posed risks.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is set to review the proposal Wednesday afternoon.

Also, the Senate Finance Committee is planning a hearing Monday on the proposed minimum wage increase.

The bill would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016. A House committee heard arguments on a parallel bill last week, but the snowstorm delayed the Senate's hearing.

Supporters say low-wage workers would spend most of this extra money, thereby stimulating the economy.

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