$15 an Hour Minimum Wage Delayed, but Still in Play


A bill to increase Delaware's minimum wage to $15 a hour is reportedly on hold, but Delaware Democratic Party leaders are urging its passage.

According to published accounts, Senate President Pro Tem David McBride has indicated Senate Bill 105 will not be heard on the Senate floor during the closing days of this year's legislative session.  The bill was released from the Senate Labor Committee last week and is pending action in the Senate Finance Committee.

The legislation seeks to raise the state's minimum hourly wage to $11 on January 1st and by an additional one dollar per hour every New Year's Day afterward through 2024 when it will culminate at $15.  

The measure would also build in an automatic mechanism to continue raising the wage annually by the same rate of increase as the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W).

If the minimum wage bill is not worked before the end of the 2019 legislative session on June 30th, it will remain eligible to be acted on during the second half of the 150th General Assembly next year.

The Executive Committee of the Delaware Democratic Party continues to pressure the governor and state lawmakers to advance the initiative.

The committee recently issued a resolution stating, in part: "Delaware Democrats ... believe in a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, and short-term disability insurance."  The resolution noted that bills advancing the minimum wage hike and other Democratic platform positions "should be brought up for a vote in the legislature."

Both of Delaware's legislative chambers and the governor's office are under Democratic control.

Minimum wage in The First State is presently $8.75 per hour and is scheduled to jump again to $9.25 in January.

Thus far only six states (California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut) have enacted laws to raise their minimum hourly wage to $15.