MACo Members Collaborate on Minimum Wage Legislation

As reported in the Washington Post, members of the Montgomery and Prince George’s county councils introduced bills Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, an unusual display of regional collaboration that has its roots in the MACo Summer Conference.  As described in the Post, Montgomery Council Member Marc Elrich said he first discussed joint action with Prince George’s Council Chair Andrea Harrison at a conference of the Maryland Association of Counties in Ocean City in the summer.

Currently, Maryland requires applicable employers to pay $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, according to the Post,

That amounts to about $15,000 a year for a full-time employee. Sponsors of both bills said the wage is unjustly low, especially in a region where living costs are so high. . . In the past few weeks, Elrich revised the bill to make it more palatable, reducing the amount to $11.50 an hour and proposing that it be phased in over three years. The measure also includes a credit for employers who provide health insurance. The bill allows companies to pay the previous minimum wage to new employees for three months before complying with the increase. The Prince George’s bill, as drafted, includes only the three-year phase-in.

For more information, see the full story from the Washington Post, and our previous post on Conduit Street, Wage Issues Gathering Attention in MarylandMinimum Wage Commentary Continues, and O’Malley Touts Education, Wage Issues in Washington Address.