Senator pitches raising minimum wage to $15.05

DOVER — Several Senate Democrats are supporting legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15.05 per hour by 2023.

Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington, introduced a bill earlier this year to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.25 in 50 cent increments over the next four years, and he announced Monday he will be amending the bill to further increase the minimum wage.

Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington, who introduced a bill earlier this year to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.25, announced Monday he will be amending the bill to further increase the minimum wage. (Delaware State News file)

Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington, who introduced a bill earlier this year to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.25, announced Monday he will be amending the bill to further increase the minimum wage. (Delaware State News file)

“In total, nearly 29,000 more Delawareans are living in poverty today than there were a decade ago, and the biggest reason is that wages have not kept pace with the cost of living,” he said in a statement.

“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. After all, they represent the base of the pyramid on which our entire economy is built.”

In Delaware, a person making less than $11,770 is considered to be living in poverty. For a family of four, the sum is $24,250.

Sen. Marshall’s amendment would increase the minimum wage by 50 cents per year until 2019 and then $1.20 afterward until 2023. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.

At the national level, a number of Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Del. Sen Chris Coons have called for raising the level to $10.10. That hike is opposed by Republicans both nationally and locally.

Many business organizations also have spoken out against higher rates, arguing the rates would decrease the number of jobs and stifle growth.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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