Delaware Senate approves minimum wage increase

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Legislation to increase Delaware’s current $8.25 minimum wage by $2 over four years has passed the state Senate after generating heated discussion among lawmakers.

The bill cleared the Democrat-led Senate on an 11-to-8 party line vote Wednesday and now goes to the House.

To increase the bill’s chances, chief sponsor Robert Marshall, a Wilmington Democrat, withdrew a provision that called for cost-of-living adjustments tied to Social Security benefit increases starting in 2021.

Supporters say the measure will help struggling low-wage earners. Opponents say it will lead to businesses cutting jobs, hiring fewer workers, especially young people, and even leaving Delaware.

Marshall previously added an amendment delaying the start of the annual 50-cent increases until 2017, instead of this year.

Democratic Gov. Jack Markell won’t say whether he supports the bill.

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