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Del. Senate approves increase in minimum wage

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- The state Senate has voted to raise Delaware's minimum wage by a dollar over the next two years.

The measure was approved on a 12-9 party-line vote Thursday. Sen. Robert Venables of Laurel the lone Democrat to vote against the bill.

The bill raises the current hourly wage from $7.25 to $7.75 on Jan. 1, 2014, and to $8.25 on Jan. 1, 2015.

Bill sponsor Robert Marshall of Wilmington had initially proposed raising the hourly wage to $8 in July and to $8.75 in July 2014 but submitted a revised proposal Thursday.

Supporters say the higher wage will stimulate the economy and help low-wage families make ends meet.

Opponents argue that it lead to higher prices that will negatively affect low-wage earners and employers hiring fewer workers.