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• The Washington Post reports that Wal-Mart has deployed at least a dozen high-paid lobbyists “and is making strong overtures to black lawmakers” in the Maryland legislature as they prepare to do battle with organized labor over a bill that would force the company to spend at least eight percent of its payroll on employee health benefits.

"They've hired the largest cadre of lobbyists in recent history in Annapolis to try to influence this legislation," Democratic House Speaker Michael E. Busch tells the Post. "It really comes down to whether the legislature is going to succumb to the money and the special interests."

The stakes are considered to be high in Maryland not just because it could affect the retailer’s operations there, but also create a precedent – one way or the other – that could influence legislation in other states.
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