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PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY COUNCIL CHAIR ANDREA C. HARRISON, D.C. COUNCIL CHAIR PHIL MENDELSON, AND MONTGOMERY COUNCIL MEMBER MARC ELRICH UNITE TO SUPPORT $11.50 'REGIONAL' MINIMUM WAGE


For Immediate Release: 10/9/2013 1:00 PM

Contact: Karen Campbell 301-952-5182 CouncilMedia@co.pg.md.us

 In Unique Collaboration, Similar Bills to be Considered by Councils in Prince George’s, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia
 
 
Prince George’s County Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison, District of Columbia Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and Montgomery County Council Member Marc Elrich today united in a rare collaboration of their respective governments supporting an effort to create a “regional minimum wage.” Montgomery County Council Member Valerie Ervin, and Prince George’s County Council Member Karen R. Toles also attended the event at the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments in Washington, DC.
 
Each jurisdiction introduced legislation that shares a common goal of establishing a minimum wage of $11.50. The bills’ sponsors today addressed how a regional minimum wage gives each jurisdiction the best chance for establishing legislation that is fair to employers and employees.
                                                                                                                                              
Prince George’s County Council Bill-94-2013, which has the unanimous support of the Prince George’s County Council, would increase the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour beginning July 1, 2014; $10.25 per hour beginning July 1, 2015; and to $11.50 per hour beginning July 1, 2016. Under the proposed legislation, beginning July 1, 2017, the minimum wage would be adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index, or the minimum wage pursuant to FLSA, whichever is greater.
 
“While the minimum wage has not increased in several years, the cost of nearly every essential resource for daily living—food, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare--continues to rise,” said Prince George’s County Council Chair Harrison. “Increasing the minimum wage will help disadvantaged workers better provide for themselves and their families and improve their overall quality of life.”
 
The Prince George’s minimum wage legislative proposal will go before the Council’s Public Safety and Fiscal Management Committee on Thursday, October 17, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 2027 of the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.
 
The D.C. Council has a series of wage bills that are scheduled to be the subject of public hearings before its Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee at 10 a.m. Monday, October. 28, in the Wilson Building. The Council’s objective is to approve a bill that will eventually establish the minimum wage at $11.50 per hour.
 
“In two decades, the minimum wage has fallen far below the rate of inflation,” said D.C. Council Chair Mendelson. “Working together, we can restore some measure of equity for the lowest paid workers without fear of losing business across our borders.”
 
Montgomery County Council Bill 27-13 provides credit for an employer who provides health insurance to the employee. The County minimum wage would be phased in over several years. The rate would increase to $8.25 per hour on July 1, 2014; $9.75 per hour on July 1, 2015, and $11.50 per hour on July 1, 2016. Beginning July 1, 2017, the rate would be raised by any increase in the Consumer Price Index on an annual basis.
 
“Maryland’s minimum wage at $7.25 per hour is the equivalent of $15,000 a year for a full-time, year-round employee, and that leaves a wage earner and their family below the federal poverty line,” said Council Member Elrich. “We are not talking about people who are trying to take advantage of the system—we are talking about people who just want to take care of their families as a result of the hard work they do, and at the current minimum wage, that is not possible.”
 
A public hearing on Bill 27-13 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24.
 
Contact:  District of Columbia, Karen Sibert, 202.724.8164
Contact:  Montgomery County, Neil Greenberger, 240.777.7939
 
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All legislative powers of Prince George’s County are vested in the County Council.  The County Council sits as the District Council on zoning and land use policy, and as the Board of Health to govern and guide health policy.  The County Council meets as a legislative body on Tuesdays in the Council Hearing Room on the first floor of the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.  For more information on the Prince George’s County Council, please visit www.princegeorgescountymd.gov.