The state Senate has narrowly approved a bill raising Delaware’s minimum wage by a dollar.
The measure passed the Democrat-led Senate on Thursday on a 12-to-9 vote, mostly along party lines, and now goes to the House, which also is controlled by Democrats.
The legislation calls for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, which is also the current federal minimum wage, to $8.25 an hour in two steps over the next two years. The first 50-cent increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2013, and the second increase would take effect in January 2014.
Representatives of the restaurant industry urged lawmakers to defeat the bill, saying now is not the time to raise costs on struggling business owners.