HARRISBURG, June 3, 2014 – State Sen. Christine Tartaglione rallied inside the Capitol today with Raise the Wage PA to again urge legislative action on proposals to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and deal with the paltry hourly rate established for workers who receive tips.

“Someone in the House or the Senate has proposed a bill to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage 13 times during this session,” Tartaglione said. “And, 13 times, Republican leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett have decided those bills will not be considered even in committee.

“As state after state acts to protect their hardworking, frontline employees, the people who could help Pennsylvania’s hourly employees thumb their nose at them instead,” she said.

“Republicans are blocking proposals to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage because they listen to fear mongering instead of learning what this country’s best economists overwhelmingly conclude about minimum wage increases. That clear message is minimum wage increases help way more than they hurt,” Tartaglione said to applause.

“Our own Department of Labor and Industry found that the last time Pennsylvania increased its minimum wage in 2007, the overall number of jobs ‘hit an all-time high’ and the increase ‘did not materially impact the overall health of Pennsylvania’s economy’,” the senator said.

Sen. Tartaglione has proposed four of the 13 bills to increase the minimum wage. Her current proposals, Senate Bill 1300 and Senate Bill 1099, would incrementally increase the commonwealth’s base hourly rate from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016 and set the tipped minimum to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage, respectively.

Once enacted, SB 1300 would direct future increases be tied to inflation.

Today was Raise the Wage PA’s lobby day in Harrisburg. The rally was part of the advocacy group’s activities to convince state lawmakers that increasing the minimum wage needs to happen now.

Studies have shown that increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would help more than one million residents.

“The ongoing Republican opposition to increasing the minimum wage and lifting hardworking men and women out of poverty makes no sense,” Tartaglione said. “It is incalcitrance, only, that is keeping this from happening in Pennsylvania. Gov. Corbett is the head incalcitrant here. Hopefully, he and leading members of the GOP will finally listen to us today and increase the minimum wage.”


Follow Sen. Christine Tartaglione on Facebook and her website.