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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senator Jack Walsh’s statement on proposed House amendments to Senate Bill 15

June 16, 2021

Senator Jack Walsh released the following statement today regarding the nine House amendments placed with Senate Bill 15 over the last week:

“Senate Bill 15 was sent to the Delaware House of Representatives a full three months ago and was released from the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee back in April. It’s disappointing that only now, with just days left in this year’s legislative session, we’re seeing a flurry of filed amendments that seek to delay implementation or provide carve outs benefiting favored employers.

Senate Bill 15 represents months of compromise with the business community. Our decision to gradually raise Delaware’s minimum hourly wage over a four-year period is a direct result of concessions we made at the request of business stakeholders.

Just last week we voted to repeal Delaware’s immoral youth and training wage after an overwhelming number of lawmakers agreed it wasn’t fair for two cohorts of Delawareans to be paid differently for the same work. Now, we have a series of amendments to SB 15 that would result in exactly that outcome, and I urge my colleagues to vote no on those proposals.

An MIT report estimates Delaware’s living wage for a single adult with no children should be $15.67/hour right now. The National Low Income Housing Coalition put the number at $17.83. Yet this bill doesn’t get us to $15/hour until 2025 and the first increase won’t come until 2022.

It’s time to put working people at the center of this policy debate. It’s time to leave behind the era of discriminatory wage standards. It’s time we meaningfully raise the minimum wage for Delawareans, regardless of whether they have 10 coworkers or 10,000.”