County Executive Weighs in to Ease Burden of Minimum Wage Bill
Last week, County Executive Ike Leggett sent a letter to Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner arguing that the latest legislative proposal to increase the County minimum wage to $15 per hour is still "too much too fast" for businesses. Leggett's proposal would stretch out the implementation of the $15 per hour wage to July 1, 2022 (from 2020) for large employers and to July 1, 2024 (from 2022) for small employers and non-profits. He would expand the definition of a "small" business from 25 employees or fewer to 50 employees or fewer. His proposal also establishes a 90-day probation period during which an employer could pay an employee 85% of the minimum wage and would tie the "opportunity wage" for youth workers to the County wage instead of the State wage.
Proponents of the bill, championed by Councilmembers Marc Elrich, George Leventhal, (who both are running for County Executive),Tom Hucker, Hans Riemer, and Nancy Navarro have assailed the Executive for this "go slow" approach
, which addresses some of the concerns raised previously by the business community. Council President Roger Berliner (who is also running for County Executive) opposed the bill last year, but has said that he is interested in "moving to yes" on a bill this year.
A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, with a work session to follow on Monday, October 9. GSSCC will continue to work to persuade Councilmembers of the increasing burdens this kind of legislation (along with numerous other requirements enacted in recent years) has on the viability of business and the economy.