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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 2, 2013 03:32 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione
To: All Senate members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Indexing the Minimum Wage
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation, which would incrementally increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by 2015, after which time the minimum wage would increase with an annual cost-of-living adjustment. This proposal falls into alignment with President Obama’s most recent minimum wage plan announced during his February 12, 2013 State of the Union Address.

Pennsylvania has not passed minimum wage legislation since 2007, at which time it raised the minimum wage to $6.25 per hour, effective January 1, 2007, and $7.15 per hour, effective July 1, 2007. Two years later, in 2009, the state’s minimum wage increased to $7.25 per hour with the federal minimum wage. As Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is not indexed with the rate of inflation currently, it has remained at $7.25 since this time, losing at least 7% of its value since its enactment.

To preserve the value of the minimum wage, while minimizing the impact on employers, my legislation would increase the Commonwealth’s minimum wage in increments. Beginning July 1, 2013, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would rise to $7.75 per hour, followed by $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014 and $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2015. The state’s minimum wage would continue to increase after 2015 through an annual cost-of-living adjustment calculated by applying the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland area for the most recent 12-month period for which figures have been officially reported by the U.S. Department of Labor to the then current salary amounts.

With the rising cost of living and stagnant employment situation in Pennsylvania, a higher minimum wage rate will immediately benefit the state’s economy by giving workers more money to spend at local businesses and decreasing employee turnover rates, while simultaneously increasing employee productivity. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage workers can no longer wait for a pay raise. We must act now. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB858