Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed the county's new minimum wage plan into law Thursday afternoon.
The action raises the hourly rate far above the current state and federal minimum of $7.25, increasing the wage in steps:
The Montgomery County Council approved the bill 8-1 last week after hours of tense debate.
"The regional piece is key because we live in an area that is very expensive," Montgomery Councilmember Valerie Ervin said.
Prince George's County approved a similar wage hike, gradually increasing the county's minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017.
The D.C. Council gave an increase to the District's minimum wage preliminary approval earlier this week. Under their proposal, minimum wage in D.C. would increase to $11.50 an hour, one of the nation's highest, by 2016.