PA Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up

Dec 15, 2013

As the national debate continues over an increase to the federal minimum wage, politicians on both sides of the aisle are speaking out about Pennsylvania’s version of the pay floor.

Currently, state law sets the minimum hourly wage at $7.25, which in line with the national law. Washington D.C. and 19 states have a higher minimum. 

State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) introduced a bill in April that would bring the state minimum to $9 by January 2015.

She said the increase would not only help PA workers, but also businesses.

“We all know, if a minimum wage worker receives a raise, that money goes right back into the local economy,” Tartaglione said. “And it’s been proven over and over again.”

On Saturday, Gov. Tom Corbett told the Wilks Barre Times Leader that, “the economy’s starting to come back,” and “I always worry about changing the dynamic when we’re starting to come out of (the recession).”

He said there currently is no plan at the state level to raise the minimum wage.

Tartaglione said she’s not only worried about those on minimum wage, but also tipped employees.

“They’re making $2.83 an hour,” said Tartaglione. “My legislation would immediately upon signing... (increase) ...  the tip wage to $3.38 and then, the next year, $4.48.”

Tartaglione’s legislation is currently in the Senate Labor and Industry Committee where it is unlikely to emerge for a full Senate vote.