HARRISBURG, April 22, 2015 – Because “a rising tide lifts all boats,” state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said today a new study shows that if Pennsylvania finally approves a minimum wage of $ 10.10 an hour, residents in each of the state’s 67 counties will benefit.

“History has proven, time and again, that minimum wage increases do not cause widespread pain, despite the claims of critics,” Sen. Tartaglione said this morning during a press conference with Raise The Wage PA.

“The new Keystone Research Center study is one more finger in the dyke of opposition. The KRC’s work clearly shows that a higher Pennsylvania minimum would help workers who have not received a pay raise since 2007.

“When prices for food, clothing and housing have dramatically increased, the earning power of $7.25 has dropped,” Tartaglione said. “Pennsylvania cannot afford to keep minimum wage workers impoverished. We need $10.10 approved now; tipped minimum wage earners need a raise, too.”

Pennsylvania’s tipped minimum wage is $2.83 an hour and has not increased since 1999.

Senate Bill 195 would increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $8.67 an hour by July 1 and $10.10 an hour by Jan. 1., while Senate Bill 196 would increase the tipped minimum to $3.95 an hour on July 1, and move it to 70 percent of the regular minimum at the start of 2016.

The other three bills in Sen. Tartaglione’s minimum wage package include:

  • Senate Bill 197, which would provide annual cost-of-living increases for minimum wage earners based on the Consumer Price Index,
  • Senate Bill 198, which would modernize the state wage payment and collection law to increase recordkeeping requirements for employers and enforcement duties of the state Department of Labor & Industry. It would also allow employees to receive back wages and two times those wages in damages, and
  • Senate Bill 199, which would prohibit employers from deducting bank fees or charges from employee tips when a customer pays their bill with a credit card.

Not only would a higher minimum wage help thousands of workers, Sen. Tartaglione said it would serve as an economic stimulus for many local Pa. economies.

While the KRC study says a $10.10 minimum wage would help 1.2 million Pennsylvania workers, it also says the raise would put nearly $2 billion into the state’s economy.

Nearly one-in-four workers in the state’s 48 rural counties and more than 700,000 workers, or 18 percent, in the state’s urban counties will benefit, Tartaglione said.

“More than 200,000 people in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties would also get a boost,” the senator said.


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