State lawmakers have voted to raise Delaware's minimum wage by a dollar over the next two years.
House members voted 27-14 Thursday to raise the hourly wage from $7.25 to $7.75 on June 1, and to $8.25 on June 1, 2015. The Senate, also controlled by Democrats, then approved a House amendment changing the effective date, which had been Jan. 1.
Supporters say the higher wage will stimulate the economy and help low-income families. Opponents argue it will lead to higher prices that will negatively affect low-wage earners and result in fewer hires.
Lawmakers rejected a Republican amendment allowing employers to pay 75 percent of the minimum wage to employees under 18, employees during their first 180 days on the job, and seasonal employees.