General Assembly Vote Tracker

HB289 – Amending the Training Wage

In June 2018, at the end of the session for that year’s General Assembly, the minimum wage was finally raised to $9.25 this past October and then up to $10.25 by October 2021. Of course, this is still insanely low and the General Assembly needs to pass Senate 105, which would raise the minimum wage in steps up to $15 by 2024. Obviously, this new bill would supersede the bill passed last year.

During that passage of the minimum wage increase in June 2018, angry Republicans who oppose the existence of the minimum wage yet alone any increase of it to benefit working Delawareans, took the Capital Bond bill hostage and said they would not provide the necessary votes for its passage unless the General Assembly agreed to the passage of youth and training wages that would weaken the just passed increase in the minimum wage. And because Democrats are the responsible governing party, they agreed to the demands of the criminal Republicans.

Efforts to repeal those youth and training wages have been introduced in the House but have yet to go anywhere. But State Representative Kim Williams’ House Bill 289 just might, since it has the co-sponsorship of two Republicans: Senator Anthony Delcollo and Representative Mike Ramone. This bill clarifies when an employer may pay a training wage in lieu of the minimum wage, supposedly to prevent employer shenanigans where they could constantly reclassify an employee as in training for another position after they complete training for a first position. The bill states that a training wage is only during the first 90 days after the employee is initially hired by the employer.


WHERE IS THE BILL NOW? House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce 1/30/20

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – K. Williams, Walsh, Osienski, Hansen, Paradee, Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon, Baumbach, Bentz, Chukwuocha,  Cooke,  K.Johnson,  Kowalko,  Longhurst,  Matthews, Mitchell, Seigfried, Viola

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – Delcollo, Ramone, M.Smith

  • YES – |
  • NO – |
  • ABSENT – |
  • NOT VOTING – |

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12 comments on “HB289 – Amending the Training Wage

  1. cassandram

    What exactly are these folks being trained in that they need 90 days of a reduced wage to do it? I’m not crazy about the idea that newly hired people are expected to subsidize their own training (providing discounted labor all the while) in order to work. 90 days pretty much covers summer employment, right? So folks hiring for the summer are still allowed to pay workers less under the guise of “training”.

    • Exactly! And it only applies for people making minimum wage. If it takes 90 days to train, maybe it should not be a minimum wage job.

      • cassandram

        And if you are being trained as a fast food worker, are you subject to this 90 day training wage for each new job you obtain in this industry? Because now you’ve just set up a situation where certain industries are pretty incentivized to churn through these workers.

        • VenialCyn

          Also grocery store workers… Wasn’t the Kenny clan lobbying for the training wage also?

          • cassandram

            They are DEFINITELY lobbying against any increase in the minimum wage.

          • Speaking of Chris Kenny, from his social media activity uptick recently, he is in what appears to be a campaign-building mode for a statewide GOP effort of some kind. I asked some DEM insiders and was told, probably Governor.

    • John Kowalko

      See Mike Ramone’s “lifeguard” employment needs. He’s the prime sponsor of this crappy exemption to the minimum raise bill.

      • cassandram

        Why are you a co-sponsor on this?

        • John Kowalko

          First let me explain. Ramone’s prime sponsorship that I’m referring to was the previous years “minimum wage” bill not this years HB289. My apologies. I was a prime sponsor on Kim Williams HB47 which would remove the training minimum wage, which takes effect 90 days after enactment, and youth minimum wage, which takes effect January 1, 2020 from Mike Ramone’s adulteration of the minimum wage bill passed the year previous. The bill never went to a committee hearing because Speaker Schwarzkopf opposed it. When I appealed to him personally he referred to a “promise/deal” made with the Republicans for their vote on the prior year’s Bond Bill. I told him, in no uncertain words, that I and others in our party made no such promise. In fact I and several others voted against Ramone’s outrageous proposal. Since HB47 was not going to get a vote Rep. Williams introduced this bill and others to close some of the loopholes in the original Ramone bill. HB47 would have eliminated those exemptions and loopholes. But since it was not going to be allowed to the floor for a vote (despite 33 sponsors and co-sponsors) I agreed with Rep. Williams that we should give any relief we could to those workers at this time.

  2. 1pointoforder

    Well, well, well. It looks like the three amigos don’t want to be republicans this cycle. Tear them out, root and branch.

  3. This bill does too little to be respectable. As Cassandra points out above, the loopholes are undeniable.

    This is not the kind of legislation worth the paper printed. And by the way, where the hell is our General Assembly? Cowering willingly behind a bunch of nonsense excuses for not moving forward with the agenda of our 150th in its final days. We can’t let them live this travesty down. I am deeply ashamed of every single one of them for this base abdication of their duties to governance.

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