The seemingly endless increases in minimum wages continued over the past few weeks with the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor announcing the federal contractor minimum will increase to $10.35 per hour beginning on January 1, 2018. In addition, the minimum for tipped employees will increase to $7.25 an hour, also beginning the first of the year. The specific increases are determined by a specific methodology written into the Executive Order signed by President Obama back in 2014. At the state and local levels, there was another handful of developments we want you to be aware of as well. In Maryland’s Montgomery County, just outside Washington DC and one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, elected country officials are resurrecting a $15 wage initiative. A similar measure passed the council last year, but was vetoed in January by County Executive Ike Leggett. It is unknown whether he would be inclined to veto another wage bill again. The current proposal, expected to be debated further over the next weeks, calls for hiking the county minimum from the current $11.50 to $15 per hour and is being aggressively promoted by SEIU, the United Food & Commercial Workers and other union organizations. Similarly, legislators in the state of Massachusetts last week heard testimony on a host of legislative initiatives that seek to hike the current state minimum of $11 an hour to $15 by as early as 2021. Furthermore, we learn that the one of the seven democrats expected to run for governor of the Hawkeye State is President of the Iowa local of SEIU. Needless to say, Cathy Glasson, who is expected to formally announce her candidacy within the next few weeks, has established one of her top priorities is adopting a $15 per hour minimum wage for Iowans.