A bill was introduced Tuesday morning by a Montgomery County Council member to increase the regional minimum wage to $11.50 per hour.
The bill is described as a collaborative effort with the District of Columbia and Prince George's County.
Introduced by council member Marc Elrich, the proposed bill would offset the difference in the cost of living in Montgomery County as it compares to Maryland's minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or $15,000 for a year for a full-time worker.
According to the proposed bill , several states currently have higher minimum wage rates that the state of Maryland. Those states include but are not limited to: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Main, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Montgomery County residents will be able to participate in a discussion of the proposed bill at a public hearing expected near the end of the month.
If the bill passes all readings, it will take effect in July of 2014.
According to several sources, the cost of living in Maryland is higher than the nationwide average .
Elrich began speaking about his plans to introduce the bill over the summer. His original thought was to introduce a $12 minimum wage plan for the county.
“To be blunt, the low wages paid by some employers have created a class of citizens who are dependent on government services to make ends meet and those same employers have effectively shifted a portion of what should be their labor costs onto taxpayers..." Elrich told The Washington Post .
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