Public Hearing – September 26,2017

Danielle Meitiv’s statement on Bill 28-17, Human Rights and Civil Liberties- County Minimum Wage 

Increasing the minimum wage will help workers. Hundreds of economists endorse the $15 minimum wage as an effective means to improve living standards for low-wage workers – and the economic data support this conclusion. A higher wage will reduce hunger and food insecurity among our lowest-income residents. It will reduce overall economic stress and allow workers to better their own lives and those of their families. It will improve the physical and emotional health of the children of these workers, allowing them to come to school prepared to learn.

Increasing the minimum wage will help businesses. Numerous studies show that higher wages result in lower absenteeism, lower turnover, and higher worker productivity. Increasing the minimum wage for all businesses will allow small businesses to compete with larger ones for talented and experienced employees.
Increasing the minimum wage will help our local economy. Research shows that minimum wage workers spend most of their money in the communities where they live and work. Almost every dollar of the proposed wage increase will go right back into the businesses where they buy food; where they buy clothing for their children, and where they buy other good and services – products often supplied by small businesses. Workers who earn more money are less reliant on social services, which saves taxpayers money.

A higher minimum wage is good for workers. It is good for businesses. It is good for our local economy. And therefore it is good for Montgomery County. By raising the minimum wage for workers we are investing in our own community and our own residents.

In my consulting business and in my campaign, I am committed to paying my hourly workers a minimum of $15 an hour. But personal commitments are not enough. It is time for the $15 minimum wage to become law.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 is the moral thing to do. It is the economically sensible thing to do. And it is the scientifically sound thing to do. Therefore, I urge the Council to invest in our County and in our future by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour quickly as possible. Thank you.