Amendments would slow the implementation timeline for businesses.
This summer, a $15 minimum wage proposal for Montgomery County resurfaced, despite a January veto by County Executive Isiah Leggett. The measure keeps inching forward, and the latest news is that a Montgomery County legislative committee approved amendments that were recommended by Leggett in September.
The bill, sponsored by council member Marc Elrich, would increase the county’s minimum wage from $11.50 per hour to $15 per hour by 2020. However, under the recently approved changes, businesses of all sizes would have longer to comply with the wage mandate. Large companies would have until 2022 to comply, and small businesses—defined as companies with up to 50 employees—would have until 2024 to comply. Leggett’s previous reasoning for vetoing a similar proposal was that implementation was too fast, which could economically harm the county.
Leggett also commissioned a study that sought to quantify the economic effects of a $15 minimum wage, and the research found that 47,000 jobs would be gone by 2022. However, PFM, the consulting group that conducted the study, then said a computation error had overestimated the job loss that could occur.
While the new amendments to the bill could point to approval by the council, some council members are opposed to the changes and could vote to overturn them.