Kim holds Policy Committee hearing on raising minimum wage

 

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on raising the minimum wage.

 

Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, co-chaired the hearing at the YWCA, which discussed the effects of increasing the minimum wage.

 

“Pennsylvania is long overdue for an increase in the minimum wage,” Kim said. “It’s been eight years since the floor was raised to $7.25 in Pennsylvania. In 2016, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage was about one-third below its 1968 level – even though productivity has doubled since 1968.”

 

“When we talk about a minimum wage, we should be talking about a livable wage,” Sturla said. “Pennsylvanians who work 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. I support raising the minimum wage, and I’m glad the Policy Committee can bring more attention to the issue.”

 

Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only earns $15,080, some $4,700 below the poverty line, requiring many people to rely on government assistance programs to get by.

 

Testifiers were Sean Ramaley, deputy secretary at the state Department of Labor and Industry; John Traynor, owner of Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and the Kitchen Bar; Mary Quinn, president and CEO of the YWCA Harrisburg; and Mark Price, Ph.D., a labor economist from the Keystone Research Center.

 

For hearing testimonies, go to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.