Petition against DE House Bill 94, people say it could hurt restaurant employees rather than help

DELAWARE- A bill in Delaware’s General Assembly right now is turning some heads.
So much so, that a petition was created against the bill.

“While I think the legislation is well intended, I think it really fails to meet any sort of meaningful help to individuals that work in our restaurant community,” said Senator Ernesto Lopez. 

If passed, House Bill 94 would ensure that employees who receive tips, also receive a minimum wage increase.

“This actually is just a very targeted bill to increase the amount that we are taxed on our hourly wage, not our tips that we earn, but our hourly rate,” Peter Bricotto, organizer of the petition, said.

But Bricotto said the bill unintentionally negatively impacts servers and bartenders.

“So, this is not going to be a raise for us, it’s actually going to be more money taken out of our pockets in a time when we are already struggling in an industry with the ongoing closures and the capacity limitations,” Bricotto said.

The owner of the Starboard, in Dewey Beach, agrees this bill could cause concerns.

Steve Montgomery told us if people find out that servers are making $9, $12, or even $15 an hour they may not tip like they used to.

And while some are not in favor of the bill, a sponsor of the bill, Representative John Kowalko, said in a statement that this bill is a positive thing because it will increase the hourly wage to hard-working men and women who have seen their incomes languish at rates imposed 34 years ago.

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