The Montgomery County Council has scheduled a vote for Tuesday on a bill raising the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour by the year 2016. The scheduled vote comes after the council's health and human services committee recommended the measure by a 2-1 margin, with committee chairman George Leventhal joining council president and bill co-sponsor Nancy Navarro to approve it.
If Leventhal's support of the bill holds by Tuesday, that would give proponents of the bill four votes on the council — one short of what is needed for final approval. If that fifth vote is not found by Tuesday, then supporters could delay the vote indefinitely as some undecided council members have said they would like to see what the Maryland General Assembly might pass when it convenes in Annapolis in January.
A bill to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour failed last year, but support has been gaining to approve a hike among Democrats who control both branches of the General Assembly. But that wage level is beneath what the councils in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties and neighboring D.C. are currently considering.