Gov. Jack Markell signed into law Senate Bill 6 in to law yesterday. The new law will raise Delaware's minimum wage to $8.25 in two incremental steps over the next two and a half years. The minimum wage will go up 50 cents to $7.75 on June 1. Another 50 cent increase will come on June 1 of 2015.
Delaware last increased its minimum wage in 2009, when the federal government increased the national minimum wage to its current level. Once the full increase is implemented, Delaware will be on par with New Jersey, where the current minimum wage is $8.25. The current minimum wage in the nearby states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania is $7.25.
According to the Delaware Department of Labor, up to 40,000 people, nearly 10 percent of Delaware's workers, could be affected, either directly or indirectly, by this increase.
"Even as we have made progress in creating more jobs and getting our state's economy on track, we have much more to do to give opportunity to those earning minimum wage," Markell said. "I am proud to sign this bill and wanted to do so on the same day it passed to reflect the commitment that I and many members of the General Assembly share: we cannot wait any longer to get this done. Raising the minimum wage represents one of the fastest ways we can act to give a boost to many struggling working families."