HARRISBURG, Feb. 6, 2015 — The case for aggressive action on Pennsylvania’s stagnant minimum wage was made stronger today by new economic research, state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said.

Tartaglione praised the Keystone Research Center’s thorough comparison of her minimum wage bill (Senate Bill 195) and a watered-down version proposed by a Republican colleague.

“The research shows that weak action will yield weak results and that’s not what Pennsylvania’s working families need right now,” Tartaglione said. “The economic argument for restoring the buying power of the minimum wage is strong and so is public support.”

Tartaglione’s bill would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2016.

According to the KRC researchthe proposed increase to $10.10 would benefit many more workers, provide a far bigger boost to the economy and benefit nearly three times as many adults as the lower proposed increase.”

“Measured by the positive impact on families and the economy, there’s no real comparison between these two proposals,” David Cooper, co-author of the report and senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, said. “An increase to $10.10 per hour provides a meaningful boost to Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians. An increase to $8.75 with some youth still stuck at $7.25 does not.”

Tartaglione said the group’s work has made an already strong case for action even stronger.

“Over the next few months we’re going to be faced with a choice of whether to heed the research or listen to some tired rhetoric,” she said. “For millions of Pennsylvanians that choice is clear.

Tartaglione has introduced a sweeping series of minimum wage bills. They include:

  • Senate Bill 196, would increase from $2.83 an hour to $3.95 an hour on July 1, and would equal 70 percent of the regular minimum at the start of 2016.
  • Senate Bill 197, which would provide annual cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage 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.

The full study can be found by clicking here.