Fate of Montgomery Co.'s $15 Minimum Wage Still Unclear

ROCKVILLE, Md. — It’s still unclear whether Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett will veto the $15-an-hour minimum wage passed by the county council last week.

Asked what Leggett planned to do, his spokesman Patrick Lacefield emailed WTOP: “Still reviewing but stay tuned.”

Meanwhile, at a briefing with reporters Monday, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner told reporters county leaders need to “find a better balance for Montgomery County.”

Berliner is among four council members — including Nancy Floreen, Sydney Katz and Craig Rice — who voted against the measure.

Berliner said Montgomery County is different from other jurisdictions that have enacted a $15 minimum wage.

“I don’t consider us to be equivalent to New York City, I don’t consider us to be equivalent to Los Angeles, I don’t consider us to be equivalent to Seattle. We are not a ‘destination’ community like they are,” he said.

At the same time, refusing to make the jump to a $15 minimum doesn’t mean the county won’t OK more incremental increases, Berliner said. “It isn’t about saying ‘no,'” he said. “It is about finding a better balance that minimizes the damages that can — and will be felt — by our small business community. Nobody can deny that is real.”

In order to withstand a veto by the county executive, the council would have had to vote 6-3 on the bill; the vote was 5-4.

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