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Delaware lawmakers approve $1 minimum wage increase

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(AP) – Delaware lawmakers have narrowly passed a bill raising the state’s minimum wage after similar legislation was defeated in the Senate earlier this year.

The bill cleared the Senate late Saturday by one vote, followed by a similar one-vote margin several hours later in the House.

No Republican voted for the measure, with GOP lawmakers decrying the rushed vote shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday with no committee hearing and no chance for the business community and other members of the public to weigh in.

Angry House Republicans in turn vowed not to vote for an $816 million capital budget, which needs their support to pass.

The legislation would increase the current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour on Oct. 1, and by another 50 cents next year to $9.25 an hour effective Oct. 1, 2019. A similar bill failed in March in the Senate on a 10-to-9 vote.

The legislation was introduced a week after the first bill failed. It was amended just before Saturday’s Senate vote to eliminate another proposed two-step increase that would have further raised the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour effective Oct. 1, 2021.

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