Business organizations raise objections to minimum wage bill
By Kathy Canavan
DOVER – The House Small Business Caucus was packed Thursday afternoon with business organizations objecting to Sen. Robert Marshall’s minimum wage bill — farmers, auto dealers, restaurateurs, home builders, petroleum distributors, auto dealers, convenience stores, hospitality groups and several chambers of commerce.
Sen. Marshall’s amended bill would raise the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $10.25 by 2019 – about a 50-cent increase each year.
No one at the meeting spoke in support of the minimum wage. Rep. David Wilson was just one of the business owners who spoke against it. “It was never supposed to be a liveable wage. It was supposed to be a wage you could get started on,” Wilson said. “The guys I’m paying $18 are going to want $22. So what am I going to do? I’m going to tell two of them to stay home because I can’t afford it.”
The House Economic Development, Banking and Commerce Committee will consider the bill next Wednesday. The 10 members will either release the bill or table it. Rep. Daniel Short urged those who are following the bill to attend the committee meeting at 2:30 p.m. in House Majority Hearing Room in Legislative Hall in Dover.
“We would encourage you, if you were in favor of not having the bill released, that you would contact one of those members and talk to them,” Short said.