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Montgomery Co. Debates Wal-Mart Bill

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The Montgomery County Council is expected to continue debate today on how to ensure that big box retailers in the county operate in a way that benefits the community. A proposed bill targeting retail stores of 75,000 square feet or more is on the council's agenda for later this morning.

The bill targets so-called "big box" stores, such as Wal-Mart or Costco. Under the legislation, those establishments would need to enter into a community benefits agreement with at least three recognized civic organizations or show that they have made a good faith effort to do so.

The benefits could include standards for a minimum wage, local hiring and training programs, affordable housing, environmental remediation, funds for community programs, security, and  traffic mitigation. The county would deny any type of financial incentives to a retailer that fails to comply with the guidelines.

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