HARRISBURG, Feb. 9, 2015 – Republicans and Democrats, advocacy groups and minimum wage earners filled a church near the state Capitol this afternoon to organize for a new effort to finally increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10.

“We need to help the ones who need help the most,” Sen. Tartaglione said during the kickoff to Raise the Wage PA’s minimum wage kickoff event. “Every other neighboring state believes that, and they have acted to increase their minimum wage rates to much healthier levels.

“Not only would my proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by Jan. 1 help those who need it most, it would help thousands more Pennsylvanians than any other proposal promising a token increase,” she said.

Tartaglione unveiled a five-bill proposal last month that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016 and make the state’s tipped minimum equal 70 percent of the regular base hourly rate. After the increase to $10.10, her proposal would tie future increases to the rate of inflation.

Today’s three-hour event, organized by Raise the Wage PA, included Republican and Democratic state lawmakers, AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, CEOs, the NAACP, PA Council of Churches, workers, officials from the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and others.

The group walked en masse from Grace United Methodist Church to the Capitol later in the afternoon.

“We are doing this as a group because we believe that a rising tide lifts all boats,” Tartaglione said. “We know there will soon be proposals to nominally increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage by 50 cents an hour, but we can – and should – do better than that.

“We must do what’s right for our frontline workers just our neighboring states have done what’s right for their workers.

“Study after study shows that there is more benefit than detriment following an increase in the minimum wage. Once we finally approve a $10.10 an hour minimum wage, history as a guide will prove to be right, and our workers and economies will all get a positive bounce from the fairer minimum,” the senator said.

Tartaglione’s 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, 2016.

The tipped minimum wage, covered by 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.

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

  • 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.


Follow Sen. Christine Tartaglione on Facebook and her website.