Eight years ago this month. That’s how long it’s been since the state Legislature last raised the minimum wage. It was a mere step up from the federal minimum wage of $6.55 to $7.25.
It’s stayed there since.
That’s unacceptable. Due to inflation, workers making minimum wage today are barely making ends meet. But instead of giving Pennsylvanians a living wage, Republicans in Harrisburg have been blocking a state minimum wage raise.
States have the power to set their own minimum wage, and all of our neighboring states have minimum wages above the federal government’s. In fact, we’re one of only 20 states without an increase.
It’s not enough for Pennsylvanians to barely get by — they need to be able to comfortably live and engage in our economy. Before I became a state representative, I worked in economic development in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and I know that when workers have a living wage, they will support local businesses and build our communities.
And it shouldn’t be a debate defined purely by economics either. No person working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. No one working full time should be struggling to get necessities like a roof over their head or food to their families. We need to do better. Eight years is too long to wait.
Pennsylvania needs a fair minimum wage law, and it needs one now. Let’s show Republicans in Harrisburg that we want a livable wage — sign the petition now to call on the state Legislature to raise the wage.