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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 15, 2019 01:26 PM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Minimum Wage Rate in Allegheny County
Over the past decade, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to increase the state’s minimum wage rate in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth is falling behind and failing our residents in making sure employers are providing their employees with living wages. As a result, when adequate wages are not available, families often descend into poverty and are forced to rely on government assistance to get by.

Every state that surrounds Pennsylvania has a higher minimum wage with New York setting theirs at $11.10 an hour. Until an agreement can be reached throughout the commonwealth, I have decided to author legislation that would exempt Second Class Counties (Allegheny) from the provision in Act 112 of 2006 that prevents local municipalities from establishing their own minimum wage regulations.

In Allegheny County, nearly 25,000 of my residents would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $10 an hour. That number almost doubles if the rate was set at $15 an hour. Of these figures, 56 percent are women, 70 percent of the individuals work full-time, 30 percent are parents and 21 percent are people of color.

It is no secret that the wage gap continues to widen and the American middle class is disappearing before our eyes. I hope that my efforts can help prevent this from being the case in Allegheny County until a state-wide minimum wage increase takes place.

Introduced as SB426