DC, Montgomery County propose $15 minimum wage

DC, Montgomery County propose $15 minimum wage

A few days after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she would propose raising the cityês minimum wage to $15, Montgomery County followed suit with its own bill for a $15 minimum.

Montgomery County Councilman Mark Elrich (D) told WAMU that he had a bill drafted to raise the minimum to $15 by 2020, but it was not planned in coordination with DC, as the most recent hike was. The reason to coordinate the raise was that, otherwise, some businesses could decide to move to another jurisdiction to avoid the higher costs. Dealerships, of course, donêt have that option.

Bowser said she plans to send her proposal to the DC City Council when it returns from its recess in April. The Districtês minimum wage is now $10.50 and will rise to $11.50 in July. Montgomery and Prince Georgeês County will increase their minimum to $11.50 by 2017. Virginia uses the federal wage of $7.25.

The DC City Council has shown an interest in a higher minimum wage in the past. Supporters tried to put a $15 minimum on a ballot initiative, but the effort is currently tied up in court. Businesses are opposed to the $15 wage, saying it would raise the ever-increasing cost of doing business in the city and could drive business out of the city.

Bowser said in her State of the District Address that she would work with both business and workersê groups to explore the proposal.

–As we raise the wage, I will also assemble a task force of leaders from workers, to organized labor and the business community to spend six months looking at how we work together to create a worker- and business-friendly environment in which we maintain our regional competitiveness,” she said.

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