Pa. lawmakers to revive push for minimum wage hike

Some Pennsylvania legislators are planning to revive a push to raise the state minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour.

State Representative Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) introduced a bill in the last session that would have raised the minimum wage to $9 immediately and to $10.10 an hour in a year.

The bill did not get passed and ended up dying when the session ended but she’s not giving up.

“I plan to reintroduce another bill that would increase it up to $10.10 an hour after a year of passage,” Kim said. “Then, the new thing I want to do this year is tie it to inflation.”

Kim said she is encouraged by the fact that Governor-elect Tom Wolf supports raising the minimum wage and by surveys that show a majority of the people support it as well.

“Before I get too excited, I see the way the Republicans and the Democrats are aligned,” she said. “There are a lot of Republicans and I don’t see a lot of support.”

Democratic Senator Rob Teplitz also supported a bill to raise the minimum wage.

“I think more important than having a Democrat in office is having a governor who will exhibit leadership for priorities for the state and this should be one of them,” he said.

The recent election in Pennsylvania saw Republicans strengthen their hold in both the House and Senate, but Teplitz still sees a chance.

“The last time this was done in Pennsylvania was with a Democratic governor and Republicans in the General Assembly, so I think there’s a chance,” he said. “I think it really comes down to leadership by the governor.”

Kim says her bill received 75 co-sponsors out of 203 legislators.

“We had some Republicans, but we’re going to just push it harder next session and I know that the Governor-elect will be supportive,” she said.

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