HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania has not raised the minimum wage since 2006. For the third time, state Rep. Patty Kim has introduced a bill to raise it.
“You raise the pay of low-wage workers statewide and you immediately have a lot more people pumping more money into the economy. We’re talking about more than a million hard workers across the commonwealth,” Kim (D-Dauphin) said.
Her bill would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 an hour next year. It would increase $.50 each year after that, topping off at $15 an hour in 2024.
“Not $15 tomorrow but in seven long years. Some people want it now, but it will be raised in stages,” Kim said. “This is beyond reasonable and we need to raise it now.”
“You need to have what you deserve, which is a minimum wage that helps you, not a minimum wage that fights against you,” home care aide Andrea Lamour-Harrington said.
Other lawmakers disagree, saying an increase in the minimum wage is inflation and could kill jobs.
“You’re going to see that minimum wage workers are going to be more expendable, that’s the bottom line,” Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland/York) said.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports raising the minimum wage, but getting it through the Republican-controlled legislature is the challenge.
“I bet if we got a bill up for a vote on the House floor that was reasonable and responsible, I would bet that there’s 40, 50, maybe even 60 Republicans in the House that would vote for that minimum wage raise,” Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) said.
Kim says she’s unsure when her bill will come up for a vote.