Minimum Wage in Montgomery County

Will H. and Ryan W.

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Minimum wage is the minimum amount of money you can be paid per hour. This only applies to an actual job. So if you’re mowing your neighbor’s lawn, don’t go suing him for paying you $5 for it. Same goes for your allowance. That’ll get you an even lower allowance (probably).

The minimum wage in Montgomery County is $10.75, and the county plans to increase it even more to $11.50. You might say, “why increase it by 75 cents?” Well thank you, imaginary person, made up solely for the purpose of going to my next point smoothly . . .

For example, if you work from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, that means you’ve worked 10 hours in a day. Which means, you make $7.50 more a day if you work, say, 6 days a week. That means you earn $45 more a week. Now, doesn’t $45 more a week sound better than seventy-five cents a day? So, doesn’t an $11.50 minimum wage sound better than a $10.75 one? The law to increase the minimum wage to $11.50 has already been passed, and a new one to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020 has been voted on and been passed. The same rule applies for the new increase, And it should also be better, right?

Well, maybe not.


Here to explain why it wouldn’t be better is Sidney Katz, the District Three council representative (JWMS is in District 3).

The Montgomery County council has nine members–one from all five districts. No, we do not have thirteen districts. (That’s a Hunger Games reference, if you didn’t get it. If you did, good for you.) The other four council members are ‘at large,’ meaning they represent the entire county. So, everybody votes for five members (their district, and then the four at large). The council is the legislative branch of our county. For more about Sidney Katz, click here.  

Will H. of our Newspaper staff was able to actually interview Katz for this article:

Q: I have heard that there is a proposal to raise minimum wage in Montgomery County. What is your opinion on this?

Katz: “Well, I think it’s a complex issue. We have to look at all sides before we make a decision, and I’m concerned about how people who are in business would be able to afford to pay their employees as much money as is being suggested. So, that’s what my concern with it is.”

Q: What measures do you feel could be taken to make sure that we’re including all of the sides of this argument?

Katz: “Well, what I’ve asked for, and what a few other people on the county council have asked for, is that we do a study–that we look at only Montgomery County businesses and their employees, and see how this could fit together so that the people would receive more money. I’m in favor of raising the minimum wage, but I want to be sure that the businesses, especially the small businesses that don’t necessarily have a lot of money and don’t necessarily do a lot of business, are as comfortable as the very large businesses. It’s important to make sure that those small businesses are able to keep the same number of employees, or hire more, rather than be faced with not having enough money to pay them and having to fire some people or lay some people off . . .”

Q:  Do you feel that, overall, increasing the minimum wage is a popular opinion, or is it kind of going away as a bad idea? I’m not saying that it is a bad idea, but how do you think the idea of minimum wage is faring?

A:   “Well, I think minimum wage is a good idea, and of course, traditionally, it’s been a federal minimum wage that’s across the United States. Then, because it hasn’t been raised for many, many years, various state governments have said, ‘You know, our area costs more to live in than some other areas, we need a higher minimum wage to help the people that are living here be able to live here.’ So then, over time, the state of Maryland has raised it’s minimum wage and it has been gradual. It went up to $10.10, but then various other areas in the district of Columbia and Washington, all said, ‘You know what? We should have the same minimum wage over time, and get it to $11.50 by the year 2017,’ (we did this in December). Well now, the District of Columbia has raised their minimum wage goal to $15 by the year 2020, and Montgomery County is talking about doing the same. However, Prince George’s County is saying that they’re not going to do that, so in this case Montgomery County would have the highest minimum wage in all of Maryland. Not having a minimum wage equal to Prince George’s County or wherever makes concern for whether or not a business could afford to stay in Montgomery County, or if they can afford to hire as many people.”

 

There you have it, straight from the council.
What are your thoughts on the minimum wage in MoCo?

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