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.