January 26, 2017

County Executive Ike Leggett Responds to $15 Minimum Wage Bill


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. 
Please see more at Washington Post on Leggett's strategy. Please click here to view a copy of the County Executive’s memo to the County Council.

43 comments:

  1. these seem like reasonable conditions. Good thinking Ike!

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    1. The whole idea is problematic. I know Ike is trying to bridge the gap but employers will now be tempted to only hire younger people for these positions.

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    2. I agree with this statement 100% I for see that by 2020 we have twice the amount of unemployed or homeless people noboys gonna wanna hire someone over 17 because its going to require that there paid more and company's today are focused on lining there own pockets vs giving back to the community there needs to be a by law that restricts the amount of minors to adults they can employee at each location

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  2. i think it should be 15.00 an hour with the cost of living in moco

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    1. Why? Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be life long career jobs; these jobs were meant for high school students to learn basic work skill sets and get some money in their pockets. Flipping burgers is not a job that deserves $15 /hour. MoCo cost of living is high, but one must strive to better themselves in order to obtain a job better than minimum wage.

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    2. You'll be paying quite a bit more for that fast food....think about it a MCDonald's cheeseburger that will cost you twice as much. The bottom line is....too quick of a jump. Extending it over a longer period allows for adjustments

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    3. What about workforce who lives in Frederick county and works in MoCo?
      It is easy to be generous at other people expense.

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    4. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be life long career jobs but for many of us, they are. I have worked min wage jobs next to seniors and working parents my whole life. These wages and lack of benefits are subsidized by state, county, and federal programs. If people had the money to support themselves and their families then the county would save a ton of cash that could be invested elsewhere. In addition, when people have money to spend on the things they need, businesses make more, too.

      Other municipalities have instituted the $15 min wage without the doomsday scenarios that keyboard experts cry about.

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  3. The first time I agree with Leggett

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  4. I agree with these thoughtful concerns and Legett's opposition. Let's look at the impact of these changes before following some of the national fads of raising wages. Over 50% of minimum wage workers are teenagers or retirees. I think there are better ways to target incentives and resources to low-income families without forcing small business to do more with less.

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  5. @fauxfooddiner: what do think a $15 an hour minimum wage will do to the cost of living in MoCo? Why dont people understand that the increased wages will be paid by the customer, not the business?
    And also consider that most of the jobs that will be affected are part time. So even if you do raise the min wage to $15 an hour, a person working 35 hours a week will still only be grossing $525/week. No where near enough to support a family in MoCo.

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  6. 2022 is 5 years from now. It might as well change it to $20/hour by 2022.

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  7. The council should also take a look at the impact this will have on businesses who employ individuals with cognitive disabilities.

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  8. Other localities have already had reliable, academic economists do those studies. See recent NPR reporting of the results, please. Why re-invent the wheel. No negative effects were found and some positive ones were uncovered.

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  9. I bet if the County Executive were making the minimum wage, he'd be in favor of an immediate hike.

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  10. I believe the veto is a mistake and will hurt a lot of people who can't afford to fall even further behind. $15 an hour is poverty in MoCo now. In 2022, it would likely be even worse. I wish he would have signed this bill.

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  11. Who's defining the time frame for the "expeditious study"? And who's conducting it? Sounds like a way to bury the issue.

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  12. Let's leggett live on the low wages and see if he could live in this county. It is time for him and the other 4 county members come up to the 21rst century and stop help employer take advantage of the poor.

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  13. I agree with these thoughtful concerns and Legett's opposition. Let's look at the impact of these changes before following some of the national fads of raising wages. Over 50% of minimum wage workers are teenagers or retirees. I think there are better ways to target incentives and resources to low-income families without forcing small business to do more with less.

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  14. Why has Legget included discrimination against youth voters as a condition of his agreement?

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  15. What does "expeditious" mean in terms of actual deadlines, and what is the budget for the study?

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  16. If no study has been conducted, where did this 2020 date come from?

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  17. To clarify: The exemption for SMALL BUSINESS makes sense. Not the exemption based on age of employee.

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  18. Seems reasonable to me also! How this will affect our schools should also be studied and planned for. (New residents moving to MC because the pay is higher than the surrounding counties.)

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  19. Does it occur to anyone that $15 in 2022 will be like making $10 in 2016? Cost of living always goes up.

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  20. Sanity for a change in MoCo government....this is what leadership looks like when they take into consideration ALL residents in the county.....and the COMMON good...something we all can get behind

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  21. An increment of 15.00 an hour is not asking too much. For the low minimum wage that has existed for so long, it should be 15.00 an hour today for full-time employees.

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  22. Why not make it $50.00 an hour? How can someone live on $15.00 an hour in Montgomery County?

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  23. He's sold out to business interests, no one is going to go broke unless their business is already teetering on the edge. For less than $15 an hour some people are just staying home.

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  24. The cost of living in Montgomery County is quit high and the minimum wage should reflect the cost of living. $15.00 an hour is fair given our county being a destination county/city for many. I have heard the argument suggesting otherwise. I completely disagree with that argument. We have many people that relocate to our county because of our biotech and tech industry, NIH, and our proximity to Washington DC. However, not everyone has the skills to work in those industries but still deserve a living wage to help provide retail businesses the help they need to support our communities. Even at $15.00 an hour it would be difficult to live in our County.

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  25. I don't think $15 per hour is a livable wage in Montgomery County. If they were to raise it higher small businesses would reap the benefits of people with more money to spend. If you put youth workers act a lower wage you may end up putting older workers who need the money out of work.

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  26. I'll buy any of this when Ike Leggett is willing to work for less than $15/hour. Also remember that what keeping these low wages really means is that taxpayers continue to subsidize these exploitive employers. When someone isn't payed a living wage, then the government ends up covering many of the workers minimal costs with our tax money, through programs like Medicaid and food stamps.

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  27. I've worked in retailing for small businesses for almost 40 years, mostly in Montgomery County. I have found that they are very good at crying poverty to their employees, through the Chamber of Commerce and the Council. However, when pressed they also seem to be extremely good at "finding" the money. This especially comes into play now, when there is such a big difference between "executive" and "employee" salaries. Sadly, owners consider themselves exempt from sharing the wealth of their businesses with their employees the way that they used to. Now they appeal to "Capitalism," with the same sanctimoniousness as the Russians did appealing to "Communism." The raw ruthlessness and immorality of it should be obvious. Delaying the raise for several years is particularly frustrating if you are trying to pay your bills. It sounds like none of you were ever poor.

    I hope you aren't surprised about why so few people in the service industries can afford to live in Montgomery County.

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  28. Will non-profits and training programs be exempt ? Such as GOODWILL and other non-profit Thrift Stores ?

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  29. $15 will be bad for all involved, and it will change laws in VA and PG cty to take advantage of MoCo's higher costs.
    -purchasing: this is not a large county or state, so families visit PG, VA, DC for lower prices. Increased prices in MoCo means you buy liquor, consumables, and services that are cheaper just a few miles away.
    -businesses/jobs: if the daily cost (MC, marginal cost) of doing business is more expensive, businesses move. This is not a one time tax or reg that businesses write off.
    And if other counties, states will improve their regs to swipe large employers from MoCo.

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  30. He should try to live $15 per hour in Montgomery County, MD for 45 days and then make a choice. By 2020 the amount will be obsolete. It is still a low wage with housing, taxes, medical, food & transportation cost

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  31. In the end the bill would have just increased the cost of living. The result that it would not help those it is intended for and hurt those on a fixed income. With a fixed income you would see your buying power reduced. This will drive some retirees back to the work force.

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  32. It is important to have an exemption for youth workers. We don't want to price them out of a way to get experience in the job market.

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  33. I'm very surprised at the negative reactions to a $15 minimum wage in MC one of the wealthiest counties in the country, especially since the reasons given are without merit. Two recent economic studies found little to no impact on employment. Those receiving the higher minimum will spend it on necessities and that will help the economy.

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  34. I agree with these thoughtful concerns and Legett's opposition.It is easy to be generous at other people expense.I Love The papers Less Airplane

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  35. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be life long career jobs but for many of us, they are. I have worked min wage jobs next to seniors and working parents my whole life. These wages and lack of benefits are subsidized by state, county, and federal programs. If people had the money to support themselves and their families then the county would save a ton of cash that could be invested elsewhere. In addition, when people have money to spend on the things they need, businesses make more, too.

    There are plenty of municipalities that have already adopted the $15 min wage without the doomsday scenarios that keyboard experts tell us will happen. In fact, actual economists have been studying places that have implemented the $15 min wage and they find largely positive results.

    Bottom line is that Ike is just stalling here, and that this issue is likely to remain tied up in political theater.

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