Leggett vetoes minimum wage increase to $15 in Montgomery County

There will be no raise to the minimum wage if you live in Montgomery County. County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed a $15 an hour minimum wage measure passed by the county council last week.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the county council approved the wage increase. In the bill, the current minimum wage of $10.75 would rise to $11.50 later this year. It would go up to $12.50 in 2018. It would then increase to $13.75 in 2019 before reaching $15 by 2020.

Leggett said he reluctantly vetoed the bill because the timeframe on increasing the wage was too short. He said there are three other conditions he wants to see a proposal meet before he signs off on it.

"I think we need an exemption for small businesses particularly affected and also for some of our youth," the county executive said. "And I am not satisfied with the date of 2020. I think the earliest it should be is 2022. My reservations are reservations. I can only respond to that at this point in time by vetoing the current bill."

Leggett also wants to see a study on the fiscal and economic impact the minimum wage increase would have on employer's bottom lines and the impact on the county government.

He said unlike cities with lots of tourist tax dollars to fund an increase, Montgomery County taxpayers will shoulder most of the burden.