Del. Senate approves increase in minimum wage

The state Senate has voted to raise Delaware's minimum wage by a dollar over the next two years.

The measure was approved on a 12-9 party-line vote Thursday. Sen. Bob Venables of Laurel the lone Democrat to vote against the bill.

The bill raises the current hourly wage from $7.25 to $7.75 on Jan. 1, 2014, and to $8.25 on Jan. 1, 2015.

Bill sponsor Sen. Bobby Marshall of Wilmington had initially proposed raising the hourly wage to $8 in July and to $8.75 in July 2014 but submitted a revised proposal Thursday.

"The bill that passed the Senate today recognizes certain concerns of our slow-moving economy in Delaware, but yet we recognize that those at the low-end of the income scale need the help for the basics in life, bread and butter and survival from day to day," says Marshall.

Supporters say the higher wage will stimulate the economy and help low-wage families make ends meet.

Opponents argue that it lead to higher prices that will negatively affect low-wage earners and employers hiring fewer workers.

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