New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon has announced his support for legislation pending in the Delaware General Assembly to raise the minimum wage for Delawareans in 2014 and 2015.
Senate Bill 6, as amended by Senate Amendment 3, would increase the minimum wage to not less than $8.00 per hour, effective July 1, 2013, and not less than $8.75 per hour, effective July 1, 2014.
“We’re experiencing one of the most uneven economic recoveries in United States history,” Gordon said. “Although corporate profits and the stock market have reached all-time highs, wages have stagnated.”
Gordon had said in his 2014 budget proposal back in March that the top 1 percent income earners had benefited from record profits while the middle class was shrinking. Since 1970, productivity of the American worker has grown exponentially while real wages of goods-producing workers has remained virtually unchanged during the same time period.
Indeed, a recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research concluded that for the minimum wage to have kept up with productivity, the federal minimum wage would be $21.75 per hour, which is $13.75 higher than the proposed increase.
Raising the minimum wage will put much needed money in the pockets of hard working Delawareans and, because of the multiplier effect on local consumption spending, will act as a catalyst to boost local economic growth, said NCCo Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi, who previously worked on Wall Street.
Among other things in his $250.9 million 2014 fiscal year budget proposal, Gordon said getting more local vendors contracts with New Castle County Government and hiring 19 additional county employees for much-needed construction and maintenance were priorities for his administration.
Senate Bill 6 was assigned to the House of Representatives’ Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee, where it was tabled in late March.