Schweyer, Schlossberg chair Policy Committee hearing on raising the minimum wage in Pa.

ALLENTOWN, Sept. 6 – The need to increase the minimum wage in Pennsylvania was the topic of state Reps. Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today in Allentown.

Both Schweyer and Schlossberg say they support raising the minimum wage in the state to $10.10.

“Working families in the Lehigh Valley and across the commonwealth need a minimum wage that is a livable wage in order to provide the basic necessities without having to struggle or work several jobs to make ends meet.” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “Pennsylvania is long overdue to raise the minimum wage.

“I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 250, which will provide the needed increase in the minimum wage. We need to get this bill through the legislature, hopefully during the fall session, so the governor can sign it into law.”

“Raising the minimum wage is a moral imperative. Workers need to be able to take care of themselves and their families,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. “I believe it is long past time to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and index it with inflation. The economic recovery after the Great Recession has been greatly slowed by limited wage growth for far too many workers.

“This proposal would raise the wages of 1.2 million Pennsylvania workers and help to boost the state economy with $1.8 billion in new wages.”

“Thanks to Representatives Schweyer and Schlossberg for bringing attention to raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Mike Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. “A Keystone Research Center report released this month shows that minimum wage workers are earning about a third less now than in 1968, when you adjust for inflation. The report also shows that our economy is getting better but that those gains aren’t trickling down to the working class.  

“Those working full time should not be struggling to make ends meet and it’s important that we take this step to give them the boost they need to make a living wage.”

Testifiers included Michelle Griffin Young, executive vice president of Government and External Affairs, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce; P. Joseph Scott, president & CEO, Easton Coach; Gregg Potter, president, Lehigh Valley Labor Council; Amanda Raudenbush, manager, Allentown Promise Neighborhood; and Mark Price, labor economist, Keystone Research Center.