Delaware minimum wage hike among bills moving forward in Dover

 The House Banking Committee meeting (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

The House Banking Committee meeting (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Two bill supported by Governor Jack Markell are making their way through the Delaware legislature.

A bill that will raise Delaware’s minimum wage by a dollar to $8.25 cleared the House Banking Committee Tuesday.

Gov. Markell said during his annual State of the State last week that he supports the minimum wage increase.  

House committee members debated on the cause and effect of raising minimum wage. Members of the public on both sides of the issue packed the meeting to voice their opinions.  

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The biggest concern, expressed by representatives, is the effect the increase would have on local businesses. 

“One representative said that businesses could raise prices, or they could cut jobs, or they could do both,” said Rep. Michael Ramone (R-Middle Run Valley).

However, supporters of the wage increase say it will give workers more spending money, which in turn, will go right back into local stores and restaurants.

Senate Bill 6 will now head to the House floor. It passed the Senate 12-9 last March.

“Ban the Box”

Last week Gov. Markell also encouraged “banning the box,” legislation that would no longer require job applicants applying for state jobs to disclose if they’ve been previously convicted of a crime. 

Under House Bill 167, sponsored by Rep. James Johnson (D-District 16), public employers would no longer be able to inquire about an applicant’s criminal past during the initial application. Some agencies such as police forces and the Department of Corrections are excluded from these provisions.  

The House passed the bill 31-8 with two absent.

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