Harrisburg – November 20, 2019 – Today, State Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia), joined State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia), State Representative Patty Kim (D-103), State Representative Chris Rabb (D-200), and advocacy organization State Innovation Exchange (SiX) for a news conference.  This media event was in response to the Senate passage of legislation to increase the minimum wage rate to $9.50 by January 2022.

“Any increase in the minimum wage is a step in the right direction, but the bill adopted by the Senate today falls far short of what Pennsylvania workers need and deserve. This is not the bill that I have been fighting for.  It’s not the bill that my colleagues in the Senate and House have been fighting for,” said Senator Tartaglione.  “And it’s not the bill that workers have been fighting for.  Pennsylvania workers deserve more.  We must keep fighting for more and we will not stop until we get it.”

“Today, I voted yes to increase the minimum wage rate to $9.50 over a period of 24 months.  There is still no change in the tipped wage for restaurant workers, no annual cost of living adjustment with inflation, and it keeps the ban on cities from increasing their own minimum wage,” said Senator Haywood.  “The change from $7.25 to $9.50 gives minimum wage workers a $4,680 raise.  I will continue efforts in my district to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour business by business and block by block until there is a fair wage.”

“After nearly a decade of Pennsylvania lagging behind neighboring states, Republicans are finally acknowledging that our current minimum wage is nothing short of a poverty wage.  Yet, their response to H.B. 1215 and S.B. 79 is an inadequate counter-proposal to the substance of one fair wage.  It is akin to keeping the economic knife in the side of the working poor, yet seeking praise for pulling it out an inch,” said state Rep. Chris Rabb.  “More than 40% of the Pennsylvania workforce is working minimum wage jobs.  We must ensure workers can adequately provide for their families by fighting for a living wage while breaking the scourge of poverty.”

“According to a poll commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) and conducted by TargetSmart, Pennsylvania voters support a wide range of policies in the state to raise wages, strengthen our democracy, reform the criminal justice system, and protect the environment,” said Pennsylvania Director for State Innovation Exchange (SiX), Nikkilia Lu.  “62% of voters support raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour over the next five years.”

This legislation is currently awaiting a vote by the Pennsylvania House.