Del. House Passes Minimum Wage Increase
After a series of failed amendments, the Delaware House of Representatives Thursday gave final legislative approval to an increase in Delaware’s minimum wage, to be phased in over several years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.
The vote on Senate Bill 15 was 26-15. The minimum wage would rise to $10.50 per hour next year and by $1.25 in 2023, $1.50 in 2024 and $1.75 in 2025.
“Raising the minimum wage will help ensure that working people share in Delaware’s post-pandemic economic recovery. A higher minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of the very same customers that small businesses rely on, and it will reduce strain on the social safety net and state spending on programs to aid people who don’t earn enough to live on,” Representative Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington said. “This legislation is also a major step toward restoring the promise that a job brings with it a fundamental level of dignity and peace of mind for every Delawarean. I look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law and helping to bolster economic security for so many Delaware families.”
“This is a great day for the essential Delaware worker,” Senator Jack Walsh, D-Stanton said. “After standing on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, thousands of grocery store clerks, retail workers, janitors and long-term care workers will be able to sleep tonight knowing Delaware has their backs. I want to thank my colleagues in the House for recognizing we owed them more than our gratitude. We owe them a better life. This legislation will help lift families out of poverty and inject money back into our small businesses at the exact moment they need it the most, creating a virtuous cycle that will help power our economy for years to come.”
However, the National Federation of Independent Business in Delaware, which says it represents hundreds of small businesses across the state, expressed disappointment in the action, saying it comes at a poor time as small businesses are trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small business owners are very disappointed at the legislature’s actions to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. This is a push by out-of-touch legislators that adds insult to injury after small business owners, who have already been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunne,” NFIB State Director Mike O’Halloran said. “As you know, so much of Delaware’s economy depends on tourists. Increasing the minimum wage for the small business owners on our beaches and destinations, means that not only tourists, but everyone in Delaware will have to pay more for the food they eat and the services they rely on.”