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Montgomery County (Maryland) Minimum Wage Increase Vetoed
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yesterday (January 23, 2017), Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed legislation that the Montgomery County Council approved last week that would have increased the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. In our previous analysis of this development, we noted that such a veto was possible.  Despite the veto, the prospect of an increased minimum wage in the near future remains very much alive for Montgomery County.

In a memorandum to the Montgomery County Council, Leggett explained that his veto was the result of concerns “about the competitive disadvantage [that the bill] would put the County in compared to our neighboring jurisdictions” particularly because Montgomery County is “not a ‘destination city’ that draws great numbers of business travelers or tourists that will be able to afford higher costs for short-term visits.”  Even so, he proposed that a study analyzing the financial impact of the minimum wage increase be completed by July 2017, which would grant the Council sufficient time to “enact a new bill long before the first new increment under [the vetoed bill] would have taken effect.”

In the memorandum, Leggett explained that he would approve a minimum wage increase bill that:

  • Is based on an expeditious study of the direct and indirect financial impacts on private employers, non-profits, and the County government;

  • Includes an exemption for small business;

  • Includes an exemption for youth workers; and

  • Provides for reaching $15 per hour in 2022.

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