Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $15 in Montgomery County. Leggett believed that the hike would harm Montgomery’s economy and its ability to compete for jobs in the Washington region, according to a Washington Post article. Montgomery County recently passed legislation in 2013 to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017. Another wage hike would make it hard for small businesses to adjust yet again to the rising cost of doing business in the county. A Dunkin’ Dounuts franchise has been vocal about being forced to cut 130 jobs if the $15 wage hike passes.
Labor groups plan to push for new legislation and according to the Washington Post article, Leggett “left the door” open to considering a revised bill, contingent on a study of the economic impact of a $15 minimum wage. He also wants it to be slowly phased-in until 2022 and has asked that an exemption be added for for small business and youth workers.
NFIB opposes any additional hikes to the minimum wage. NFIB Maryland State Director made the following statement: “Every time lawmakers make it more difficult to hire additional people, Marylanders lose. To impose a mandatory wage hike as staggering as $15 an hour is downright irresponsible. The small business community simply cannot afford to sustain existing jobs, never mind create new ones when they cannot afford the wages. The weight of paying new, oftentimes inexperienced workers a $15 minimum wage coupled with workers currently making $15 per hour who will no doubt expect a raise, is enough to crush the small business community in Montgomery County.”
We will continue to oppose any push for a $15 minimum wage in Maryland and will keep you updated on the issue.