By Adam Pagnucco.
County Executive Ike Leggett, who commissioned a county-financed study on the impact of a minimum wage increase blasted by the Economic Policy Institute as “absurd junk science,” is backing away from its results. Leggett asked in a letter to the study’s authors that they review the methodology and findings in their report. He also revealed that his administration had “received word from your firm that there might be a problem with the methodology and calculation of fiscal impact and resulting job impacts. You have indicated that the job losses might be less than what is expressed in the report.”
Let’s recall that this very same firm prepared a study recommending retention of MoCo’s liquor monopoly – a study that did not include review of your author’s proposal to replace its revenue. If the minimum wage study is so flawed that the Executive is retreating from it, what does that say about this same company’s work on the liquor monopoly?
It’s worth noting that the Executive’s letter to the study’s authors comes at the exact same time that the County Council is sending him an exhaustive list of questions about the study’s methodology. The council is set to review the study in public next month. One line of questioning examines the minimum wage bill’s impact on county labor costs, which could range into the tens of millions of dollars. That issue is sure to become more prominent in time.
We reproduce the Executive’s letter below.