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Delaware senator seeks to raise state minimum wage

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January 13, 2011

DOVER, Delaware: Delaware state Senator Robert Marshall is proposing a bill to raise the state's minimum wage. Delaware's minimum wage currently matches the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. Marshall (D-Wilmington) would have Delaware raise its minimum wage by 50 cents over two years, up to $8.25.[1]

This will be the fifth minimum wage increase Marshall has proposed in his 32-year career as a state lawmaker.[2] He said he would like to raise the minimum wage higher, "But this increase in measured and aimed at staying above the federal minimum wage while trying to avoid harming small business owners."[3]

Addressing concerns that the hike might hurt small businesses, Marshall said that the gradual implementation will help business owners plan ahead, and that falling unemployment indicates that they can afford to pay higher wages.[2]

On the Delaware House of Representatives side, bill co-sponsor Rep. Michael Mulrooney (D-Pennwood) says a minimum wage hike is necessary to keep pace with the cost of living.[3]

With a Democratic majority in the state House, Marshall is optimistic about the bill's passage.[3]

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