Nancy Floreen's Montgomery In Focus, December, 2017

Council Elects New Leadership

Council President Hans Riemer with Council Vice President Nancy Navarro with Nancy Floreen at Council dais landscape view

Congratulations to our new Council President, Hans Riemer and our new Council Vice President, Nancy Navarro. We will have two very talented leaders at the helm in the coming year, and I feel optimistic about our future. I applaud Council President Riemer's emphasis on expanded public participation in the Council's work. Best wishes Hans and Nancy! You can read the full press release here.

Full Council Raises Minimum Wage to $15

Nancy Floreen and Council in hearing room for minimum wage bill

We unanimously approved Bill 28-17, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – County Minimum Wage – Amount – Annual Adjustment, that will increase the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 1, 2021 for large employers with 51 or more employees. Mid-sized employers with between 11 and 50 employees must raise wages to at least $15 per hour by July 1, 2023. Small employers with 10 or fewer employers must pay workers $15 per hour by July 1, 2024. Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) designations and eligible service providers must raise wages to $15 per hour by July 1, 2023, unless they are considered a small employer. In addition, Bill 28-17 provides that the minimum wage must be adjusted annually for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), starting July 1, 2022.

What people want most is a job. I am pleased this legislation protects small businesses, especially those with less than 50 employees, while providing a transition over six years to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage for all workers. However, this is a regional issue and I strongly urge our state legislators to expand this Council’s efforts and enact legislation so all Marylanders can earn a fair wage. We need to make sure we have an environment that supports employees and job growth by retaining and attracting new businesses in Montgomery County. Here's the full press release and you can watch my comments from the November 7, 2017 Council session.

Testimony at the Annual Statewide Transportation Investment Tour

I testified at the Maryland Department of Transportation's Annual Statewide Transportation Investment Tour on Thursday, November 2. I encouraged the state to think big and take an aggressive, multi-modal approach in the Governor's Public, Private, Partnership (P3) program to address traffic on I-495 and I-270. I believe that including the Corridor Cities Transitway, a longtime County priority in the P3 project, assures that Maryland will assume national leadership in multi-modal planning. Linking highway improvements to transit needs will achieve a truly comprehensive solution to our deep and abiding congestion problems. Visit here to read my entire testimony.

Youth Town Hall

Nancy Floreen speaking with students at the youth town hall meeting

We had a great Youth Town Hall meeting in November. Nearly 300 students and young residents of Montgomery County came out to share their concerns about bullying prevention, gang activity, pre-k education, issues affecting minority students, school overcrowding and overall safety in schools, among other things. I want to thank everyone who attended. I was especially impressed with the thoughtfulness of the questions we received, and that so many stayed to talk with us afterward. If you couldn’t attend, you can still watch it here.

County Maintains AAA Bond Rating

Montgomery County maintained its AAA bond rating for 2017 from three Wall Street bond rating agencies. Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s all affirmed the “AAA” rating which is the highest achievable rating for the County. They all termed the outlook for Montgomery County as “stable.” Read the full press release here.

Secretary Pete Rahn's Update on the Governor's Traffic Relief Plan

1-270 sign next to a car parked in the street

Pete K. Rahn, Maryland's Secretary of Transportation, updated the T&E Committee on  November 16 regarding Governor Hogan's proposed Traffic Relief Plan for I-270 and I-495.  We learned there are many significant details still undecided regarding the Governor's plan since it's still in the Request For Information (RFI) phase of the project. It is all very preliminary at this stage. Secretary Rahn will provide us more information sometime next year, once they review the RFI responses. To learn more, watch a taped version of the full committee meeting.

Regional Leaders Launch Purple Line Corridor Community Development Agreement

purple line

I joined County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh, my Council colleagues, other elected officials, and community members on November 28 for a ceremony to sign an agreement about responsible economic development, including affordable housing, along the Purple Line light rail. For more information, visit here.

Fast Fact

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) introduced a new podcast, Library Matters. This biweekly program explores the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning. Recent topics ranged from Game of Thrones to strategies to encourage reluctant readers. Here's the full press release.

Green Tip of the Month

Gift Outside the box logo with shopping bags

Did you know the amount of household waste in the U.S. increases an average of 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day? To help reduce waste and protect our environment, the County launched a "Gift Outside the Box" campaign this holiday season. Gifting green means thinking about the impact to the environment of what we buy, as well as how we buy our gifts. Learn more about gifting green.

Let's Talk

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting? Please let me know how I can help. I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process. Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you. Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.

December 2017

In this Issue

Quick Links