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Montgomery County Council OKs $15-an-hour minimum wage

Legislation to raise Montgomery County's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 passed the County Council on a 5-to-4 vote Tuesday, but it is unclear whether County Executive Isiah Leggett will allow the measure to become law.

The county would be the first jurisdiction in Maryland — and the second in the Washington area after the District of Columbia — to adopt a $15 hourly minimum wage.

Leggett, a Democrat, said last week that he was worried that the increase would put Montgomery at a competitive disadvantage in terms of attracting businesses, and that it could put too great a burden on employers.

The Montgomery legislation would go into effect by 2020 for most businesses and in 2022 for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, a change made in an effort to address Leggett's concerns, said chief sponsor, Councilman Marc Elrich.

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