Lee leads Policy Committee hearing on wage growth

BRADDOCK, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, today hosted her first House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Unity Baptist Church to discuss wage growth in Pennsylvania.

Lee requested the hearing to discuss increasing the minimum wage and establishing a living wage, and how wage boards can help create truly fair wages for all workers. Participants also explored other suggestions for wage growth in the commonwealth.

Lee was joined by a number of legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

"It is a disgrace that children and families go hungry in the richest country in the world," Lee said. "As long as skyrocketing corporate profits and poverty wages exist side by side, our communities will continue to suffer needlessly. We must move, aggressively, to encourage wage growth with every means at our disposal. Pennsylvanians work hard and deserve to afford to live comfortably without multiple jobs."

Sturla added, “The time is past due for the legislature to take action and raise the minimum wage. An increase hasn’t happened since 2007 and that was at the federal level. It’s time Pennsylvania increases its minimum wage and works toward paying workers a living wage. House Democrats’ Plan4PA aims to do that and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the state and across the aisle to get this done.”

The committee heard testimony from: Jennifer Berrier, deputy secretary for Safety and Labor-Management Relations, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; Chad Trainer, legislative director, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Steve Kelly, member, 32BJ; Reggie Moorefield, child life specialist, UPMC Children’s Hospital.; Clive March, member, SEIU Healthcare PA; John Mutchka, dietary worker, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital; David Madland, Ph.D., senior fellow, Center for American Progress; and Logan Bialik, graduate student assistant, University of Pittsburgh.     

The meeting was one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.

Testimony, photos and video from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.