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State lawmaker calls for more analysis on minimum wage increase

Delaware Public Media

Republican state lawmakers want more information on what raising the minimum wage would mean for Delaware.


The House Economic Development hearing this week will consider a bill raising the minimum wage in the state to $15 per hour.


And State Rep. Bryan Shupe (R-Milford) is asking to see more data on the economic effects of such an increase before voting on the bill.


“What I’d really like to do is take a step back and say, what are going to be the impacts on the state government and also what are going to be the impacts on the free market in the small state of Delaware if we move forward with mandating that fifteen dollars be the minimum wage for our small businesses and for state workers as well," Shupe said.


Credit Delaware General Assembly
State Rep. Bryan Shupe

Shupe introduced a bill directing the comptroller general’s office to examine what a minimum wage increase would do to the state beyond the immediate cost of raising the wages of state employees, the only analysis currently tied to the bill.


He noted debate on the bill in the state Senate - where it passed 14-7 along party lines -was intense. Many Democratic lawmakers espouse the benefits of lifting people out of poverty, while some Republican lawmakers talked about how it would affect their businesses.


“We do have our own experiences, we do come to the table as either business owners or as workers ourselves in the past or as teachers, different walks of life," said Shupe. "But we have to remember that we are here to serve our communities holistically.”


Shupe would like to have his bill passed and an analysis done before the minimum wage bill is approved.  Even if it is not, he’d still like to see the analysis completed, to help with developing economic outlooks and to set a precedent for the future.


He adds an analysis passed through the legislature would be seen as  non-partisan, compared to one from an outside group where bias, real or perceived, could come into play.


Shupe is hoping the bill will be considered alongside the minimum wage bill in the committee meeting on Wednesday.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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