Activists with Our Revolution hold $15 minimum wage signs outside the US Capitol complex in February 2021, to call on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images/Bill Clark) Fight for $15 Rally
Activists with Our Revolution hold $15 minimum wage signs outside the US Capitol complex in February 2021, to call on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images/Bill Clark)

Pennsylvania’s paltry $7.25 an hour minimum wage celebrated its 13th anniversary this year. Democratic state lawmakers have introduced bills every year since 2009 to increase it, but their efforts have been blocked by the GOP majorities in Harrisburg.

The Department of Labor’s Minimum Wage Advisory board reports that in 2021, an estimated 63,800 Pennsylvania workers were earning minimum wage or less. The national average of workers earning state minimum wage or less in 2021 was 0.6% lower than Pennsylvania’s rate..

The majority of minimum wage or less earners were between the ages 16 and 34, but women outnumber men by two to one. 

While the majority of the minimum wage or under workforce were never married, over 41% were in families earning less than $50,000 per year and 19% earning less than $30,000 per year. 

That’s a pretty small sum to live by yourself on, let alone raise a family.  

Pennsylvania’s Democratic lawmakers introduced numerous measures during the 2021-2022 legislative session to raise the minimum wage, but Republicans blocked every one of them. 

If Democrats secure the majority, some bills may see progress in the House, but that is far from settled. 

Here are all the minimum wage bills introduced in the House and Senate during the 2021-2022 Session: 

House Bills

HB 15

House Bill 15 was introduced by Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) in March 2021. It proposes immediately raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour and then increasing it incrementally to $15 an hour by 2027. After 2027, the wage is raised annually by a cost-of-living adjustment. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee.

HB 46

House Bill 46 was introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) in January 2021. It proposes overturning local ordinances pertaining to minimum and prevailing wage. The bill is sitting in the Local Government Committee.

HB 345

House Bill 345 was introduced by Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) in April 2021. It proposes immediately raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour with incremental increases each year after that until it reaches $15 an hour in 2027. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee.

HB 923

House Bill 923 was introduced by Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) in March 2021. It proposes that municipalities set a localized minimum wage based on the cost of living for the area and other factors. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee.

HB 1646

House Bill 1646 was introduced by Rep. Tony Deluca (D-Allegheny) in June 2021. It calls for a nonbinding ballot question asking voters in the next general election if they want to see the minimum wage increased.. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee. 

Senate Bills

SB 12

Senate Bill 12 was introduced by Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) in February 2021. It proposes immediately raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, with incremental increases each year after that until it reaches $15 an hour in 2027. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee.

SB 625

Senate Bill 625 was introduced by Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) in May 2021. This bill proposes immediately raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, then increasing it by 2% every year for six years, or until 2027. After that, the yearly increase would drop to 1%. The bill is sitting in the Labor and Industry Committee.

SB 672

Senate Bill 672 was proposed by Rep. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) in March 2021. It would immediately raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour and provide for a yearly adjustment for inflation by an amount not to exceed an annual cost-of-living increase.