PA Democrats announce $20 minimum wage legislation

State Rep Roni Green speaking at a minimum wage rally at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on April 9, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

April 9, 2024

Pennsylvania hasn’t raised the minimum wage since 2006, and now, Senate Democrats are proposing a $20 minimum wage.

It’s been close to one year since Pennsylvania House Democrats passed a $15 minimum wage increase—that was then blocked in the Republican-run Senate.

In response to this obstruction, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) announced at a rally with Service Employee International Union and United Food Commercial Workers 1776 members in Harrisburg that she will be introducing a $20 minimum wage bill that would take effect on July 1, 2024.

“I speak on the Senate floor about the injustice being perpetrated on our minimum wage and low wage earners across the commonwealth,” Tartaglione, a long-time supporter of raising the minimum wage, said at Tuesday’s rally.

“I highlight how many days it’s been since July 9th, 2006, the last time our Commonwealth worked together to pass an increase in minimum wage. For anyone wondering, today is 6,484 days since we last passed a living wage. That’s embarrassing.”

House Democrats passed HB 1500 last June and it would have raised the minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour by 2026 and adjust the minimum wage for inflation each year after that. HB 1500 would also raise the tipped minimum wage from $2.83 per hour to 60% of the minimum wage.

Pennsylvania has the lowest minimum wage out of all of its surrounding states. An increase in the minimum wage under the House Democrats’ plan would benefit 1.34 million Pennsylvanians according to a report published by the Keystone Research Center, a progressive economic think tank.

A 2022 poll conducted by the think tank found that 73% of Pennsylvanians support a minimum wage increase that is similar to HB 1500.

“The foundation of a strong community starts with a strong family,” State Rep. Roni Green said on Tuesday.

“In that family are strong workers with good union jobs that pay living wages. No more can we say ‘minimum wage’ because we don’t do minimum work.”



Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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