Progressive Maryland, a lead organization advocating for the $15 minimum wage bill passed by the Montgomery County Council, deplores the veto by County Executive Ike Leggett and promises to hold him and the Council members opposed to the bill accountable for their disregard for working families.
News for immediate release.
January 24, 2017
Progressive Maryland, in solidarity with other lead organizations in the Fight for $15, deplores Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s disgraceful veto of the bill mandating a $15 minimum wage. He shows flagrant disregard of the fate and future of working families in one of the nation’s most expensive counties.
Working families who fear life under the Trump presidency need to look no further than their own local leaders to make life yet even harder. By vetoing the $15 minimum wage, which enjoys overwhelming public support, Leggett has chosen to yank back a critical lifeline that leaves working families drowning in debt. Ironically, Leggett's veto only hurts local business, as workers will have less to spend, and forces taxpayers to foot the bill by leaving workers reliant on public assistance for survival. Working families have nowhere left to turn to now but their Councilmembers, who can act responsibly by supporting a mainstream Democratic position and override the veto. New data on recent minimum wage hikes indicates insignificant if any negative impact on employment: any resulting employment decrease was very small, mostly insignificant. Businesses would almost assuredly have continued to thrive in the nation’s eighth richest county. All this evidence directly contradicts Leggett’s highly dubious rationale for his action, which clearly eyes a soft landing in the private sector upon his retirement.
Progressive Maryland’s lead Montgomery County organizer, Justin Vest, said "This is an absolute betrayal of working families. Montgomery County is one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the country, where a family needs to earn over $30/hr to be self-sufficient. $15 is the least we can do. We will hold every politician who opposed the $15 minimum wage accountable and will continue to push for a fair wage in the county.”
Leggett has tarnished his legacy, not for the first time, and reversed the hard work of the Council majority. Voters should loudly urge those reluctant council members on the losing side of the vote to think twice about their stance and override Leggett’s anti-worker veto.
Progressivemaryland.org <> 35 University Blvd. East Silver Spring, MD 20901-2437 202-907-9597