News

November 26, 2019

Minimum Wage Increase Passes in PA Senate

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a  compromise bill that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 per hour over the next two years. Under the terms of Senate Bill 79, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would move from $7.25 to $8 per hour on July 1, 2020. It would rise to $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2021; $9 on July 1, 2021; and then take the final step to $9.50 on Jan. 1, 2022.

The bill passed on a 42-7 vote with seven Republicans in opposition. Gov. Tom Wolf has been pushing for a higher minimum wage since taking office in 2015. The increase is anticipated to face a greater test in the state House of Representatives.

Pennsylvania’s current minimum wage is the federal minimum of $7.25, which is an hourly wage less that each of the Commonwealth’s neighbors and most other states. The bill is significantly less than the $12 minimum that Wolf proposed in January.

The House is not expected to take up the bill before December, at the earliest.

Recent Comments

  • 12.3.19

    By: Pat Rhine

    I recently became involved with an organization offering services to the homeless population living under the Mulberry Street Bridge. During a recent evening of serving dinner to the group, I learned that many of the homeless are not necessarily jobless, they are without homes due to not making a livable sustainable wage. They are living in tents under the bridge because they cannot find a living situation they can afford. This was a surprise to me. One expects to hear that in cities such as NYC, Philadelphia, or where I have heard it discussed often, in the Florida Keys. I didn’t expect to hear it spoken about Harrisburg.

    Bringing the minimum wage to a livable sustainable wage should be a goal for our Pennsylvania legislators. On a windy cold night, imagine living in a tent under a bridge and then getting up to go to work. Those who make attempts to work should be able to live off of their wage. I urge our legislators to raise the minimum wage and do it sooner rather than later.

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