By Tyler Micik
The General Assembly returned this week from Easter Break. Of note was SB15, an increase in Delaware's minimum wage, which was heard in the House Economic Development Committee on Wednesday. The bill would increase the minimum wage to be paid in the state to $10.50/hr effective January 1, 2022, with yearly increases reaching $15/hr by 2025.
The reality of this proposal is that it may in fact hurt the people its intended to help. Many businesses, especially small business, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are still struggling to survive or recover. An increase in the minimum wage could cause some employers to hire fewer employees, transition to automation and, in some extreme cases, close their doors permanently. Instead, we should be supporting programs like Forward Delaware. These programs help Delawareans acquire tangible skills employers need and increases their opportunity for upward mobility. Following a three-hour hearing the bill was released from committee in an 8-5 vote and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee.