|Posted:||December 15, 2014 04:45 PM|
|From:||Senator Christine M. Tartaglione|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Co-Sponsorship of Legislation: Cost-of-Living Adjustment|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation, formerly S.B. 326 of 2013-2014, which would provide for a cost-of-living adjustment to Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act.
For several decades, wages of low and middle income workers have remained fairly stagnant, while wages of the highest paid workers have increased steadily. This has caused growing disparity among the state’s wealthiest and poorest citizens. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 3.4 million hourly wage workers in Pennsylvania in 2012. Of those individuals receiving hourly wages, 87,000 were paid at the minimum wage rate and 108,000 were paid below this rate.
Increasing the state’s minimum wage rate by an annual cost-of-living adjustment according to the Consumer Price Index will avoid future years of decline in purchasing power. Not only will higher wages benefit employees and their families, but also, they will encourage more spending, which will prompt job creation.
New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Maryland have passed legislation raising their minimum wage rates far beyond Pennsylvania’s hourly rate of $7.25. By raising the minimum wage rate in Pennsylvania, we will provide a much needed boost to our economy, and we will keep our wages in alignment with our neighboring states.
Members who co-sponsored this legislation previously include Senators Stack, Farnese, Kitchen, Hughes, Fontana, Costa, Brewster and Blake.
Introduced as SB197