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05/24/2024 07:32 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 24, 2023 03:59 PM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment for a Minimum Wage Increase
It has been more than a decade since Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has seen an increase. The current rate of $7.25 an hour is the lowest amount allowable under federal law. Meanwhile, five of the commonwealth’s neighboring states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio) all saw increases at the start of 2023 with some slated to see additional growth in subsequent years. Whether you are a worker, employer, or consumer, minimum wage impacts our entire state and the health of the economy.  


Over the years, many states have raised their minimum wage through ballot measures – some by significant margins. In fact, since 1996, voters throughout the United States have approved 27 ballot proposals to raise their state’s minimum wage. The two ballot questions that failed in Montana and Missouri did so in 1996. However, these states went on to successfully pass an increase in years that followed.  


For this reason, I think it is best that the Legislature gives the residents of Pennsylvania say in this debate. I will be introducing a constitutional amendment that asks the voters if they approve raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour beginning on January 1, 2025. For each year thereafter, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would be adjusted to inflation.   


I hope you will consider joining me in co-sponsoring this import piece of legislation that has the potential to grant thousands of working Pennsylvanians the opportunity to earn a living-wage.  

Introduced as SB539