As the County Council is getting ready to vote on raising the minimum wage, Seventh State continues its series of candidate responses to questions with this issue.
Do you favor an increase in the Montgomery County minimum wage and, if so, by how much and on what timeline? Would you have any exemptions and, if so, for whom?
I have co-sponsored and voted for bills to raise the minimum wage statewide in Annapolis. A thoughtful minimum wage policy, properly enforced, can be an important tool in reducing income inequality. That is why I helped enact a minimum wage increase as a legislator in Annapolis. Minimum wage policy, however, is more effective as a state policy than as a local one. Maryland has a Department of Labor, with the statutory power and duty to enforce minimum wage and other employment laws. Montgomery County does not. Just as zoning and land use decisions belong at the County level instead of the state, I believe employment regulation is better in the hands of the state, where those regulations can be effectively enforced and implemented.