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The time has come for Pennsylvania to join 17 other states and the District of Columbia in raising the state minimum wage above the paltry federal minimum of $5.15 per hour.   The purchasing power of the current minimum wage has been greatly eroded since the last increase in 1996 and a raise is long overdue.  A Pennsylvania working family cannot have a decent or acceptable standard of living based upon our current state minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

Starting today, will launch a campaign urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to increase the minimum wage based on three standards that should be used to evaluate the legislation:

  1. There should be an immediate jump in the minimum wage level to match the standard that surrounding states have already set.
  2. Future, incremental increases should be included to at least reach the federal poverty line.  
  3. Any bill that increases the minimum wage should also provide for future cost of living increases to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can afford to care for their families.

Currently there are three bills in the state assembly that address the minimum wage issue: HB 257, SB 269, HB 216.  While each of the three proposed plans represents a good faith effort to address this problem, only HB 257 meets all three standards.  This bill will raise our minimum wage to $6.15 per hour by January 1, 2006, in line with neighboring states, and further increase it to help bring low wage workers out of poverty with an increase to $7.15 per hour by January 1, 2007.  Perhaps most importantly the bill will incorporate a cost of living increase to be enacted every January 1st after 2007 to ensure that the working poor can provide for their families in the future.

Please click here to sign a petition that will be sent to the Majority and Minority leaders of the House and Senate as well as the Governor urging them to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.  

Pennsylvania’s workers deserve better — by coming together we can convince the General Assembly to finally support those who need help the most by increasing the minimum wage.  I ask for your support in this campaign to give PA workers a better and brighter future.

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