Delaware lawmaker again calls for minimum wage hike

 Fast food workers striking outside of Wendy's on Concord Pike in December 2013. (Shirley Min/WHYY)

Fast food workers striking outside of Wendy's on Concord Pike in December 2013. (Shirley Min/WHYY)

Ahead of the start of the General Assembly session next month, Sen. Robert Marshall wants to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.05.

Delaware’s minimum wage now stands at $8.25 per hour, a dollar above the national rate. In the past year, the state’s minimum wage increased by 50 cents twice as a result of legislation sponsored by Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington West.

Now, Marshall is at it again with plans to introduce an amendment to his minimum wage bill that would nearly double the state’s minimum wage by 2023.

“After decades of stagnation, with only minimal minimum wage increases, it’s time we enact a plan to make Delaware’s low-wage workers whole,” Marshall said in a statement.

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His new legislation would increase Delaware’s minimum wage by 50 cents each year through 2019, then by $1.20 every year starting in 2020 through 2023. “We can’t grow our middle class without giving the 113,000 Delawareans living in poverty a real chance to join the American Dream and reach the middle class,” Marhshall said.

On Thursday, cleaning workers who are members of the 32BJ SEIU union will hold a rally at downtown Wilmington’s Rodney Square. The rally will support a $15 minimum wage resolution being considered by Wilmington City Council on Thursday night. That measure, sponsored by Councilman Darius Brown, D- 3rd District, is expected to be voted on Thursday night.

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