|Posted:||March 31, 2017 10:23 AM|
|From:||Representative Patty Kim|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Raising the Minimum Wage|
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would raise the Pennsylvania minimum wage. This legislation, in addition to increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for all workers, includes an annual cost-of-living increase, ensuring a balance of the state’s minimum wage with our growing economy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.2 percent of Pennsylvanians were living in poverty in 2015. As the middle class shrinks at an alarming rate, the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Now is the time to make our working families a priority.
If enacted, my legislation would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour per the following schedules:
Businesses with LESS than 25 employees:
Businesses with OVER 25 employees:
In addition, beginning July 1, 2024 and for each succeeding July 1 thereafter, both minimum wage rates set per the above, will be increased by an annual cost-of-living adjustment calculated by the Secretary of Labor & Industry using the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
“Tipped employees” under my legislation will see their minimum wage increase incrementally, starting at $9.00 per hour and increasing to $12.00 per hour until July 1, 2023. From that time forward, “tipped employees” will receive the full minimum wage. Additionally, the annual cost-of-living adjustment afforded all other employees as of July 1, 2024, will be extended to “tipped employees”.
Pennsylvania has not raised its minimum wage since 2006. In 2015, a full-time minimum wage worker in Pennsylvania earned just $15,080, which is below the 2015 U.S. Census Poverty Threshold for two and three person households. If our minimum wage remains unchanged in 2017, the earnings of full-time minimum wage workers will stay below these thresholds.
Further, raising the minimum wage is not only a worker’s issue, it’s a women’s issue. In 2015, female minimum wage workers in the state outnumbered males nearly 2 to 1. My proposal would help over 150,000 minimum wage workers in Pennsylvania, including more than 97,000 women.
My legislation will help struggling families to pay their bills, put more money in worker’s pockets, and ultimately boost our economy. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.