When we help working families, we ensure a Pennsylvania that works for all of us
States and cities across the United States continue to increase minimum wages for workers, including every state that borders Pennsylvania.
Every worker should be able to expect a fair day's pay for a hard day's work. No full-time worker should live in poverty. No working family should be forced to depend on public assistance to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
The legislature should focus on working families trying to make ends meet. A wage boost for the 1 million-plus Pennsylvanians trying to afford rent, groceries and other necessities on the current minimum of $7.25 would ensure a Pennsylvania that works for ALL of us, not just the wealthy few.
Public support for a minimum wage increase in Pennsylvania is above 70 percent. Raising the wage is about fairness for working families and boosting Pennsylvania's economy. Raising the minimum wage would put more money in the pockets of low-wage workers, money that would be spent on goods and services in our small businesses.
Rep. Patti Kim is proposing legislation that would give workers in Pennsylvania a measure of dignity and ensure they can support their families by increasing the state's minimum wage, in increments, to $15 per hour by 2024.
In addition, the legislation would boost the minimum wage each year after that based on the annual cost-of-living adjustment.
A minimum wage increase would help boost earnings for millions of working people in Pennsylvanian.
Women earning the minimum wage outnumber men earning the minimum wage by 2 to 1 in Pennsylvania.
In many households, these women work full-time, are raising children, and are the primary breadwinner for the family.
So raising the minimum wage is not just a worker issue, it is a women's issue.
And, raising the minimum wage is an economic issue.
More small business owners are rejecting the message of special interest groups that claim to represent them and are supporting a minimum wage increase as state policy.
Many of them already pay their workers above the minimum wage because they've seen firsthand that it works.
A living wage reduces absences, turnover and training costs; puts more money in employees' pockets that they can spend in the community; reduces costs to taxpayers; and helps boost the local and state economy.
Pennsylvania has an opportunity to help more than 150,000 working people and their families directly with a minimum wage increase, and an additional 1 million or more indirectly.
It's time to act for the good of our workers, our economy and our state.