Prince George's County votes to raise minimum wage to $11.50 per hour

(WJLA) - Montgomery County passed an unprecedented hike in its minimum wage on Tuesday night, and less than a day later, its neighbor to the east did the same thing.

The Prince George's County Council voted nearly unanimously Wednesday morning to raise its minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, the same rate that Montgomery County has approved.

A vote on the bill passed the nine-member council 7-0. Two members did not vote because they are out of town.

The bill must now be signed by Council Chair Andrea Harrison before going to County Executive Rushern Baker for his final approval.

Officials did not provide a timeline for how and when the county's minimum wage would be raised. Montgomery County will incrementally increase its minimum wage every year until it reaches $11.50 in 2017.

Maryland's statewide minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which equals the federal standard.

Leaders in the District of Columbia are locked in a battle about how high the minimum wage should be if they choose to take similar action. While Mayor Vincent Gray has suggested a $10/hour threshold, others, like Councilman Vincent Orange, prefer $11.50.

Gray recently vetoed a bill that would have forced big box retailers to pay its employees at least $12.50 per hour.

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