Tartaglione Says Gov’s Election Year Budget Still Shortchanges Workers
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4, 2014 – Despite his claims to the contrary, Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed $29.4 billion budget for the 2014-’15 fiscal year continues to slight Pennsylvania’s workers, state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said today following his annual budget address.
“Corbett talked about ‘Pennsylvania’s comeback’ but that cute campaign slogan flies in the face of the reality of how this Pennsylvania economy continues to kick workers in the stomach,” Tartaglione said.
“The governor’s budget wish list is for a state in an alternate universe. He has failed to implement policies that create jobs in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth. His continued reluctance to demand an increase in the minimum wage continues to hurt citizens who have to work two or more minimum wage jobs to make ends meet,” she said.
Tartaglione said Corbett’s insistence that Pennsylvania has replaced nearly all of the jobs lost during the first three years of his administration is also a farce.
“Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is 6.9 percent because people who have been trying to find employment have stopped looking out of sheer frustration, not because they have found suitable replacement jobs,” the senator said.
“He said he is seeing Philadelphia as a stronger place. How would he know? He was afraid to come to the city, according to the most recent news reports.
“There simply is not a big enough coat to hide the problems of Pennsylvania that have ballooned since Gov. Corbett took office. From job loss, failure to address health care, fiscal health, education, social safety net issues and the minimum wage the problems have spiraled,” Tartaglione said.
Sen. Tartaglione has proposed two bills to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum and tipped-minimum wages. SB 858 would hike the minimum from $7.25/hour to at least $9/hour, while SB 1099 would hike the base wage for waiters, waitresses and others to 70 percent of the minimum wage rate. Future hourly wage increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.