Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich Supports Further Increases to Take Minimum Wage Over $20 Per Hour


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich commented in his weekly message stating that he supports “further increases to take the minimum wage over $20 per hour to help more residents earn a livable wage and remain here for the long term.” as the state of Maryland increases its minimum wage to $15 per hour starting in 2024.

All Maryland employers will have to pay their hourly employees a minimum wage of $15 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2024. This requirement stems from the enactment of Maryland Senate Bill 555 (SB555), also known as the Fair Wage Act of 2023, which was signed into law by Maryland Governor Wes Moore on April 11, 2023.

Per Marc Elrich: “Raising the minimum wage is something I have been working on for many years. I was proud to lead two successful efforts to raise the County’s minimum wage, as you can see at How D.C. and 2 Maryland Counties Coordinated a Minimum Wage Hike (governing.com) and here. On Jan. 1, the State of Maryland will raise minimum pay to $15. .

Maryland’s Fair Wage Act of 2023 requires all employers to pay their non-exempt employees a minimum of $15 per hour. In Montgomery County, it means small businesses with less than 10 employees will have to raise their minimum pay from $14.50 per hour starting Jan. 1. Under the County’s law, they would have had to increase the wage to $15 beginning July 1. The State law accelerates the timeline by six months. All other businesses in Montgomery County already are required to pay $15 minimum or more per hour. Additionally, County law indexes the wage for inflation, so the minimum wage will continue to increase in the County.

A statewide $15 minimum wage is an important milestone, but not nearly all that is needed to bring equity to our region’s workforce. In the 1960s, my family was able to take a $6,000 income and handle the house mortgage of around $122 a month. That tells you how far we have come from what is expected today.

Affordable housing is not just a house pricing problem. It also is a wage problem. That is one of the reasons we have indexed the County’s minimum wage to inflation so it does not stagnate like the Federal minimum wage. I am encouraged by the progress made through our efforts and the Fair Wage Act. I support further increases to take the minimum wage over $20 per hour to help more residents earn a livable wage and remain here for the long term.”

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