In this video, Councilmember Elrich discusses the importance of paid sick and safe leave for hard-working families, many of whom are “a paycheck away from homelessness.” He also discusses the impact for smaller businesses, which is why he sponsored the successful amendment to reduce the paid portion of sick leave for the County’s smallest businesses. For more information on the newly-enacted law (identified as bill 60-14), go to Bill 60-14 for the Council packet. Here is the legislation as enacted
To read the news release: Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill
News and Initiatives
Buffers from mega gas stations needed for public health
Councilmember Elrich is pleased to be joined by his colleagues Roger Berliner, Tom Hucker, Sidney Katz, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer in sponsoring his zoning text amendment (ZTA 15-07) that would prohibit mega gas stations within 500 feet of schools, residences, parks, day care, and environmentally sensitive areas., “Mega gas stations present a risk to the public health and general welfare of individuals nearby, and our existing law does not reflect the current scientific understanding that indicates a public health concern. Numerous, peer-reviewed, scientific studies document links between vehicle emissions and asthma, impaired lung function, and heart disease.” Read more...Common-sense remedies for tenants
Councilmember Elrich has introduced bill 19-15 to implement many of the recommendations of the Tenant Work Group, where he represented the Council and worked with the County Executive, State Senator Jamie Raskin and diverse representatives of the tenant community. Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Tom Hucker are co-sponsors of the legislation to bring “common-sense reforms to tenant laws.”
“I have long been interested in promoting strategies to preserve affordable housing and provide some security for renters,” Councilmember Elrich said. “These proposed reforms are first steps toward improving the quality of life for tenants, who now are about one-third of the county population.” Read more...
Council passes another fiscal year 2016 budget
The Montgomery County Council adopted a $5.08 billion total County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The budget, which will take effect July 1, reflects a 1.7 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2015. The Council also approved amendments to the Fiscal Years 2015-20 six-year Capital Improvements Program.
Councilmember Elrich thanked the County Executive “for sending the Council a recommended budget that reflects our collective values.” He also expressed his appreciation that he and his Council colleagues worked together on this “hold-the-line” budget. “While we would have liked to do more, we understand that we have budgetary constraints,” he explained. Read more...The energy tax and its budgetary impact
Video on Councilmember Marc Elrich on Fuel/Energy Tax Rate
In this video, Councilmember Elrich discusses why the energy tax is an important way to raise money from entities that pay no other taxes to support the work in Montgomery County. He points out that Virginia has a substantial gross receipts tax that targets only the business community, and that the energy tax is progressive, by providing a disincentive to increasing energy use and reducing the need for increased property tax revenues, which only hit businesses and residences.
“Ban the Box”: an important step to level the playing field
Reform of our prison system and putting people to work have been two important themes nationally. In Montgomery County, we have taken a step in the right direction by giving former prisoners a fair chance at job applications through “ban-the-box” legislation. This law delays the point at which most potential employers can ask an applicant about a criminal background so that qualified applicants have an opportunity to make their case. It will not force an employer to hire someone, but will give them a chance to learn about someone they may not have otherwise considered.
“This bill is about opportunity. We invest a lot of resources in rehabilitating those who pass through our criminal justice system and it is in all of our best interests for them to succeed,” said Councilmember Elrich. Read more...