Minimum wage bill moves out of Labor Committee but may be dead for year

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Legislation that calls for the minimum wage to increase to $15 by 2024 moved out of the Senate Labor Committee.

A key state senator said that moving the bill to the finance panel with a fiscal note on its financial impact means it will not be considered until next year, Delaware Public Media reported. Gov. John Carney also said the bill might come with unintended consequences.

A coalition of business that included chambers of commerce, as well as hotel and restaurant associations sent alerts to members in efforts to oppose the bill. The nonprofit also joined in the effort.

The bill calls for the minimum wage to increase from the current figure of $9.25 to $11 an hour in 2020, increasing $1 an hour each year until 2024. The bill also calls for a cost of living adjustment in years after 2024.

Democrats made a push for a higher minimum wage in the waning hours of last year’s session.

Republicans balked at the increase and insisted on a lower training and youth wage in return for voting for the state budget. The minimum wage increased from $8.25.

Democrats have moved to scrap the training and youth wage.

Last year’s moves late in the session means that a last-minute effort with a modified bill is not out of the question.

Meanwhile, larger employers have been moving toward the $15 an hour wage, including the state’s large banks and Christiana Care, Delaware’s largest private employer.

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