HARRISBURG, March 28, 2014 – With another Northeast state increasing its minimum wage and the largest labor union in the country taking action this week to support the effort, state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said today that Pennsylvania lawmakers should not stand in the way of the groundswell of support.

“Every day someone, somewhere, agrees with the argument that increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do and poses little to no impact on the economy,” Tartaglione said. “Pennsylvanians are waiting for their state lawmakers to take notice and to also do the right thing.”

Since proposing Senate Bill 1300 on March 18 to hike the commonwealth’s base hourly wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2016 and tied to inflation, a new coalition has formed, “Raise the Wage PA,” Connecticut increased its minimum to $10.10, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka began to actively push for the nationwide adoption of the $10.10 an hour rate.

Trumka and minimum wage supporters rallied in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum on Thursday to continue pressuring state lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett.

Not only is a higher minimum wage good for workers, as Trumka said, it also delivers other positive impacts.

“It’s good for the community … the country … and good for everybody,” the AFL-CIO leader said at the rally.

Tartaglione attended the rally and agreed with Trumka.

“People who bad-mouth increases in the minimum wage just don’t understand what it is like to work more than half of their waking hours for what amounts to peanuts,” Tartaglione said. “Unfortunately, most minimum wage workers in Pennsylvania cannot even afford to buy peanuts.”

In addition to the higher minimum wage, Tartaglione’s SB 1300 would increase the fines and penalties for companies that violate the new law, provide for increased enforcement of the state’s minimum wage act, and it would allow municipalities that have a higher cost-of-living to consider a higher minimum wage.

Tartaglione is also pushing for legislative consideration of SB 1099, which would increased the state’s tipped minimum from $2.83 an hour to 70 percent of the regular minimum.


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