Minimum wage bill advances through Delaware House committee

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle A $15 minimum wage is closer to reality now after a House panel approved legislation that would lift Delaware’s wage floor from $9.25 to $15 in a series of steps. Following a three-hour hearing, the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee voted along party lines to send the bill to the full chamber for a debate on raising the state minimum wage by $5.75 by 2025. The measure could be voted on as soon as next week. The bill, which passed the Senate […]

Legislator seeks further data about minimum wage

Delaware State News | by Craig Anderson A bill calling for an economic-impact analysis connected to pending minimum-wage legislation would infuse related discussions with more specific information, its author said this week. Rep. Bryan Shupe, R-Milford, is calling on the state’s Office of the Controller General to execute or contract out a study tied to Senate Bill 15, approved by the Senate in March and sent to the House of Representatives. If passed, it will increase the state’s minimum wage from $9.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025. […]

Delaware inspector general would provide oversight of state agencies

Delaware State News | Commentary | by Nick Wasileski, Keith Steck, and Katherine Ward Transparency, accountability and “in the public interest” describe essential guideposts to assist Delaware state agencies and their officials when making decisions and carrying out policies for the well-being, safety and happiness of Delaware’s citizens. When state agencies dismiss these guideposts, misconduct, mismanagement and neglect of office can swiftly lead to conflicting policies and actions and even fraud. Consequently, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government (DelCOG) believes we need an independent, nonpartisan office for oversight and investigation […]

House panel rejects Kowalko’s proposal for high-income tax brackets

Newark Post | by Randall Chase A state House committee dealt a blow Wednesday to a proposal by Democratic lawmakers to establish several new tax brackets that would result in higher-income individuals paying more to Delaware’s state coffers. The Democratic-led committee voted 7-6 not to release the measure for consideration by the full House. Democratic Gov. John Carney is opposed to the bill, with administration officials saying it could make Delaware’s income tax structure more volatile and actually lead to a decrease in income tax revenue. Co-sponsors of the measure […]

Bill calls for mental health workers in elementary schools

Newark Post | by Staff and wire reports A bill mandating that elementary schools in Delaware be staffed with counselors, social workers and psychologists is headed to the House floor for a vote. The House Education Committee voted overwhelmingly last week to release the bill for consideration by the full House. Supporters of the bill say mental health disorders are the most common health problem for school-aged children, and that half of lifetime mental health illnesses begin by age 14. Supporters also say the coronavirus epidemic has exacerbated mental health […]

Delaware lawmakers take aim at ‘ghost guns’

Newark Post | by Randall Chase Lawmakers in Delaware have reintroduced legislation to outlaw homemade “ghost guns” that can’t be traced by law enforcement agents because they don’t have serial numbers or are fashioned from parts created with 3D printers. The measure introduced last week is similar to a bill that failed to get a floor vote last year. The legislation is supported by Gov. John Carney, who first proposed such a law in 2019. “This important ghost gun legislation is thoughtful and reasonable and is intended to keep our […]

Bill clarifying abortion rights approved by House committee

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle A House panel approved a bill Wednesday that would strike from state law outdated language criminalizing abortion. Although abortion has been legal at the federal level since a landmark 1973 Supreme Court case, the Delaware state code still contains provisions restricting it. The General Assembly codified abortion protections in 2017, and legislators are seeking to do something similar with House Bill 31. The proposal, which cleared the House Health & Human Development Committee and now goes to the full chamber, would make the […]

House bill 94 would increase minimum wage for tipped workers

WMDT | by Anissa Lopez A bill in Delaware’s General Assembly right now is turning some heads. “While I think the legislation is well intended, I think it really fails to meet any sort of meaningful help to individuals that work in our restaurant community,” said Senator Ernesto Lopez.  If passed, House Bill 94 would ensure that employees who receive tips, also receive a minimum wage increase. “This actually is just a very targeted bill to increase the amount that we are taxed on our hourly wage, not our tips […]

Could paying restaurant workers more end up costing them more?

The News Journal | by Shannon Marvel McNaught A minimum wage hike for Delaware’s tipped employees might sound like something servers and bartenders would support, but some think it will do them more harm than good. Rep. Kim Williams’ (D-Newport) House Bill 94 proposes to change the tipped minimum wage from a flat $2.23 per hour to 65% of the regular minimum wage. It’s waiting to be heard in committee. Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark) is a co-sponsor of the bill. “Historically, waitstaff has been burdened with a lesser (pay) rate, […]

Minimum wage hike a priority for Delaware’s Poor People’s Campaign

The Philadelphia Tribune | by Cris Barrish Kathleen Sturgis loved her job linking people with social services and charitable agencies in Delaware. Then she came down with diverticulitis last fall and lost her job. Now her modest savings are gone. “At this time, I’m the one that needs help,’’ Sturgis said. “So I’ve had to reach out to organizations to help pay my electric bill. Now I’m looking at how I’m going to pay my rent. It’s a struggle from one day to the next.” Sturgis is among more than […]