Senator Bobby Marshall Sponsored Low Wage Worker Task Force Starts Wednesday

Filed in Delaware by on August 26, 2014

Senator Marshall sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 60, creating the Low Wage Service Worker Task Force to:

study and make findings and policy recommendations about the growth and nature of the low wage service sector as compared to other job growth and sectors in the State of Delaware; the demographics and rate of poverty of workers in low wage industries, the impact of low wage jobs on children, families and communities; the cost to Delaware taxpayers caused by the impact of low-wage jobs and the cost of state services used by low-wage workers; and the effects on the local economy.

This hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 1PM at the Chase Center at the Wilmington Riverfront. They’re looking for a big turnout here, so please pass this along to as many people as you can. Here is the complete Press Release of the event:

Task force seeks testimony on low-wage, service sector issues

A panel named to look at issues facing low-wage and service sector workers will start taking testimony during a Wednesday hearing in Wilmington at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

Lawmakers set up the 14-member Low-Wage and Service Worker Task Force in June. It will hold its first meeting Aug. 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a serious issue,” said Sen. Robert Marshall, D-Wilmington West, one of the group’s co-chairs. “If you look at the range of studies out there, the wage gap in this country is growing and that not only places a strain on families, who are struggling to get by in this economy, but it also places an enormous strain on the state and federal governments and charitable groups that are working to meet the needs of those families.”

Marshall said the group, made up of lawmakers and representatives of business and labor groups, will be seeking policy ideas on wage and labor law issues that can assist families without placing an undue burden on small business. The group has an Oct. 31, 2014, deadline for issuing recommendations to the General Assembly and Gov. Jack Markell.

“In January, Gov. Markell signed my legislation increasing the minimum wage, and that represents a step forward,” Marshall said. “But if you look around the country, states, cities and towns are taking a number of steps to help people get ahead. We need to look at what’s happening and find a Delaware solution.”

Earlier this year, Seattle, Wash., increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour and the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that McDonald’s Corp. has a joint responsibility in how its employees are treated, which, if upheld, could have broad ramifications for the franchise restaurant industry.

And that process will start with Wednesday’s hearing.

“We’re hoping to hear from a range of experts and from people who are on the front lines,” Marshall said. “We have a short time to complete our work, but I’m confident that with strong public input, we will prepare a good report with solid recommendations to move Delaware ahead.”

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (10)

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  1. Bane says:

    Cass, how much of this should be attributed to Marshall gearing up for a primary against Dorsey versus it being a genuine desire to solve a problem?

  2. cassandra_m says:

    Marshall proposed the increase in the minimum wage earlier this year to $10.10/hour. He was also key in the formation and operation of the Blue Collar Task force, looking at how to create more manufacturing and construction jobs here. That task force started its work mid last year, with a final report done late in 2013 or early 2014. And he made sure that the GA was part of the decision-making for the Kinder-Morgan deal. It isn’t as if trying to pay attention to work or labor issues is a new project for him.

  3. Bane says:


  4. SussexAnon says:

    Senator Bobby Marshall Sponsored Low Wage Worker Task Force Starts Wednesday…..

    The entire County of Sussex is expected to attend (or at least should be).

  5. cassandra_m says:

    I understand that this is the first of multiple hearings, so I would hope that they would have one in Sussex.

  6. artichoke says:

    The $10.10 bill was conveniently assigned to the Senate Executive Committee so that Senator Marshall had an excuse for why he did not push for a committee hearing or vote on the legislation.

    Hopefully something real comes out of this task force though!

  7. Right. He was looking to sabotage his own bill.

    Marshall has used task forces before to effectively move policy forward. Both the blue-collar task force and the nursing home task force led to significant policy reforms.

    It’s not as if he hasn’t done anything lately. He sponsored some of the most progressive legislation of this session, and it wasn’t an aberration.

  8. SussexAnon says:

    I would welcome a meeting in Sussex.

    We aren’t really known for getting together and discussing ideas down here, unfortunately.

  9. Steve Newton says:

    Recommendations that could actually come out of this committee and make a big difference if passed:

    1. Make Delaware’s EITC refundable.

    2. Implement the Living Wage in the tax code. Regardless of ideology it is difficult to implement a Living Wage in salaries, because the LW is dependent on the size of the household, and is affected by the number of wage-earners in a household. But Delaware could implement a LW provision in the state income tax that basically says nobody pays any state income tax at all until after the family reaches the living wage number.

    3. Mandate that the State of Delaware pay its own full-time employees (all of them) a high enough wage so that they don’t qualify for SNAP or TANF (last reports said there are several hundred in that category).

    4. Consider wage structure as an element of corporate welfare. While I’d like to eliminate corporate welfare outright, the next best thing would be to refuse grants and tax breaks to corporations who don’t pay wages sufficient to keep full-time employees off SNAP and TANF. (Between State and local sources, for example, the Wal-Mart in Smyrna received something like $7 million in assistance back in 2007 to create jobs for several dozen people now also on public assistance.

    In other words, actually put more money that they have already earned back into the hands of low-wage earners.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    Those are good ideas, Steve. I’m especially partial to cutting off corporate subsidies to companies whose employees end up on medicaid and food support.