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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 11, 2016 02:51 PM
From: Representative Mark B. Cohen
To: All House members
Subject: $15.00 per hour Minimum Wage
I am introducing legislation that would provide for an increase in the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to $15.00 per hour over a four year period. This bill will replace HB 1694 that was introduced November 12, 2015. It is being redrafted to make a correction to the schedule. The content of the legislation remains the same.

My bill would increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour within four years in accordance to the following schedule:
  • $9.00 per hour within 90 days;
  • $10.50 per hour within one year;
  • $12.50 per hour within two years;
  • $13.50 per hour within three years; and
  • $15.00 per hour within four years of enactment of the legislation.

My proposal also provides for an annual cost of living adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index once the $15.00 per hour wage becomes effective. Finally, my legislation would repeal Section 14.1 (Preemption) of the Minimum Wage Act, which prohibits local governments from establishing their own minimum wage requirements. A growing number of local governments throughout the United States are driving the minimum wage debate forward by issuing their own requirements. I believe Pennsylvania cities, counties, boroughs and townships should have the same flexibility as do their counterparts in other states.

Please consider the following:
  • Recent enactment of minimum wage increases in New York and California to $15/hour.
  • Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and Providence have increased the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
  • States with legislation pending to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour include Alaska, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin.
  • Two 2016 bills (House and Senate) have been pre-filed in Florida to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
All of these changes will look more and more reasonable over time as the flood of actions by other jurisdictions around our country continues to spread. I invite you to join me in supporting this initiative to increase wages for low-income workers by co-sponsoring this legislation.

If you have any questions, you may contact Kathy Seidl of my office at 787-4117 or kseidl@pahouse.net.

Thank you.


Introduced as HB2017