Thursday, June 22, 2006

Delaware Raises the Minimum Wage

The Washington Post reports that Republicans in the U.S. Senate resorted to the filibuster to block an increase in the minimum wage:
The Senate has rejected 11 attempts to raise the minimum wage since 1998, according to a legislative history compiled by Democrats. House Republican leaders indicated this week that they would not allow a vote on the issue this year.
As the News Journal reports, the Delaware Senate did better:
On a 16-5 vote, the Senate sent to Gov. Ruth Ann Minner a bill to raise the minimum wage to $6.65 an hour on Jan. 1 and to $7.15 an hour a year later. Minner said Wednesday that she will sign the bill.
Sen. Robert I. Marshall, D-Wilmington West, called Senate Bill 62 "a bread and milk bill" that will help people at the bottom of the wage scale cope with rising costs.
Back in Washington, the Republican House leadership doesn't plan to let the issue come to a vote. According to the Post, some GOP lawmakers think they should:
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who supports an increase, said he thought a House vote was inevitable. Blocking it in a volatile political environment would look "pretty silly," LaHood said, adding, "Why not be the party that has a little bit of heart and cares about ordinary people?"
Why not, indeed?

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