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Harrisburg — after years of quarrels, Almost agreed in 2019Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature say it’s only a matter of time before Republicans agree to vote in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage.
Currently, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. The state legislature last raised the state minimum wage in 2006, and all neighboring states have now raised wage floors.
“I think we’re all sick of fighting over this issue,” said Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphine). many years He introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.
The Democrats’ newfound optimism is based on the fact that Republican members of the state Senate leadership are the lead proponents of a bill that raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Under this law, there will be annual price increases linked to the rate of inflation.
State Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), the proponent of the bill, said, “Rising prices have left workers unable to pay for basic necessities and forced them to rely on public assistance. there is,” he said. Late May statement. “The time has come to address this issue and we believe this bill is the most responsible way to address this issue.”
With state legislatures under Democratic control, it is likely that the House will get enough votes to approve a minimum wage hike. Meanwhile, the state Senate is under strong Republican control.
Still, state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) hopes something will be done before the end of the year.
“…it’s just a function of understanding the dynamics of what it looks like,” he said.
Republican leaders in both houses are cautious about raising the minimum wage.
State Senate Speaker interim Kim Ward (R, Westmoreland) and Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R, Indiana) voted against raising the wage floor to $9.50 an hour in 2019. . That year, the state Senate passed a compromise negotiated among Republicans. Former Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe.that died in the state legislature.
State Senate Republican Press Secretary Kate Fresner said in an email earlier this spring that the caucuses are “focused on implementing policies that create top-paying jobs” rather than “artificially raising the minimum wage.” rice field.
“It’s all about negotiation,” Ward added last week.
Even if both Houses reach agreement, the bill is unlikely to contain language that would allow Pennsylvania cities such as Philadelphia to set higher regional minimum wages. The 2006 bill that last raised the minimum wage included a ban on community activities.
Removing this ban is a top priority for dozens of progressive communities and advocacy groups.
Preemptive action is “often used as a way to prevent state governments from governing black- and brown-majority metropolitan cities to their advantage,” the coalition said in an open statement. . letter in May. “This model should be rejected in the Pennsylvania legislature.”
State House Democrats have expressed support for local control, but it is questionable whether that will actually happen.
“I don’t think that will happen,” said Rep. Jason Dawkins (D, Philadelphia), chairman of the state Labor and Industry Committee.
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2023/06/pa-minimum-wage-raise-legislature/ Will Pennsylvania raise its minimum wage in 2023? Spotlight PA