Minimum wage bill expected in 2021 legislative session

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Democratic legislators wasted no time in proposing an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.

Democrats strengthened their majority in the State Senate last week by gaining two seats. Republicans have, for the most part, opposed minimum wage hikes.

The legislation calls for the base wage to increase to $11 an hour in 2022 with yearly increases through 2026.

Under the measure, the minimum wage would increase based on the consumer price index.

Delaware’s minimum wage is currently $9.25 an hour.

The bill is expected to go before the General Assembly next year.

While the state’s minimum wage has increased in recent years from the federal minimum figure of $7.25, legislators have stopped short of moving toward the $15 an hour figure.

Neighboring Maryland is now on the path to the $15 an hour wage.

The higher minimum wage has faced stiff opposition from chambers of commerce, the restaurant industry, and other groups. Opponents argue that the higher minimum wage will raise wages across the board and make the state less competitive.

The $15 an hour wage has wide support in both red and blue states. Florida voters last week approved a $15 minimum wage.

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