|Rep. Patty Kim
103rd Legislative District
Patty Kim introduces minimum wage increase bill
HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, has introduced a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage, which will help struggling families pay their bills and reduce their reliance on government assistance programs.
The introduction of Kim’s bill coincides with strikes in almost 100 cities across the country by low-wage fast food workers seeking an increase to a livable wage.
“As the stock market reaches new highs and corporations earn record-level profits, millions of working men, women and children are struggling just to scrape by,” Kim said. “It’s time we start making Pennsylvania’s working families our top priority by increasing their wages to help them get out of poverty and off welfare rolls.”
Kim’s bill would increase the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour and then to $10.10 per hour a year later.
Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would boost the earnings of a full-time worker by more than $5,900 to $21,008. For a single mother with two children who works 40 hours per week, this would get her family above the poverty line, which is $19,530 for a household of three.
Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only makes $15,080, which is almost $4,500 below the poverty line, requiring many people to use government assistance programs just to get by.
Kim said the effects of the low wage are especially felt by women, who account for two-thirds of workers earning minimum wage. She said her bill would help an estimated 855,000 minimum wage workers, including 514,000 women.
State House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, said Kim’s bill is a top priority of the House Democratic Caucus because it would help lift thousands of Pennsylvania families out of poverty and provide a needed jolt to the state’s lagging economy.
“More money in the pockets of working families means they’ll have more money to spend to help keep our economy moving,” Dermody said. “But this is more than just an economic issue; it’s also a moral issue. All work has value and honor, and all hard work should be rewarded with a fair living wage.
“Let’s raise the minimum wage and help the hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women who struggle every day to make ends meet,” he said.
Kim said she and House Democratic leaders will begin working to secure a vote on the bill.