Patty Kim applauds minimum wage boost for state workers

Urges passage of her bill to give all workers in Pennsylvania a minimum wage increase

HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf for signing an executive order to provide a minimum wage of $10.15 per hour for all employees who work under his jurisdiction and for employees of state government contractors.

"Thanks to Governor Wolf, no state employee who works full-time will have to live below the poverty line," Kim said. "I am hopeful that this is a first step towards the passage of my bill, which would increase the minimum wage for all workers in Pennsylvania."

Kim’s bill, H.B. 250, 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 $19,790 for a household of three.

Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only makes $15,080, which is more than $4,700 below the poverty line, requiring many people to use government assistance programs just to get by.

Kim also said that a minimum wage increase will help the state’s economy because most workers making minimum wage need their paychecks to make ends meet.

"They don’t save their money because they can’t," Kim said. "They spend their money quickly, which immediately boosts the economy."

She also cited studies that have shown increasing the wages of low-income workers reduces staff turnover and boosts the effort of workers because they feel more appreciated.

"Opponents will say we can’t afford to increase the minimum wage but I would argue that we can’t afford NOT to," Kim concluded.