After considerable review, County Executive Ike Leggett responded to Bill 12-16, (Human Rights and Civil Liberties – County Minimum Wage Bill) on January 23. Bill 12-16 called for the gradual increase of the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. County Council sent the Minimum Wage Bill to Leggett after approving it in a 5 to 4 vote. Although Leggett supports a movement toward a $15 wage, Leggett cited reservations about the timing, circumstances and conditions of the bill.
In a January 23 memorandum to County Council, Leggett summarized three stipulations necessary for him to fully agree to the bill:
- Be based on an expeditious study on the direct and indirect financial impacts on private employers, non-profits and County government;
- Include an exemption for small business, the definition of which can be informed by the study;
- Include an exemption for youth workers; and,
- Provide for reaching $15 per hour in 2022.