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Youth and training wage set to be repealed in Delaware



The Democrat-controlled General Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday to erase a law that lets businesses pay young and new workers less than the minimum wage.

House Bill 88 by Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, strikes out a law that allows employers to pay 50 cents an hour less to employees either younger than 18 or adults who have been on the job for less than 90 days.

The Senate passed the bill 13-8 on Tuesday, with only one Democrat — Sen. Bruce Ennis of Smyrna — voting against it. The House passed it along party lines in May.

The repeal comes just as Democrats are pushing to raise the state’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $15 an hour by 2025 through Senate Bill 15.

The Senate passed the bill along party lines in March, and the House is expected to pass it next week, according to House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear.

The sponsor of the $15 minimum wage bill, Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Stanton, spoke in support of repealing the youth and training wage.

In a statement on Tuesday, he said that two workers doing the same job should be paid the same regardless of their age or time of hire.

A perimeter fence surrounds Legislative Hall in Dover Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.

He called the policy a “shameful and discriminatory chapter in Delaware’s history.”

“People don’t pay different rents based on their ages,” Walsh said. “The price of a gallon of milk doesn’t change depending on how long someone has been employed.”

When asked if Gov. John Carney supports the repeal, a spokesman said his legal team is still reviewing it before his office decides whether he will sign it.

Should he sign the bill, the law will have been short-lived.

Democrats created it in 2018 as a compromise with Republicans after the minority party blocked the bond bill — the state’s annual, colossal infrastructure spending bill —on the final day of the session in protest of a separate bill that increased the minimum wage by $1.


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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service