Senators Predict Hike in Pennsylvania Minimum Wage This Year
Two state senators from Northwestern Pennsylvania believe the legislature will raise the minimum wage this year. However, they do not believe the hike will come close to what Governor Wolf is proposing.
State Senator Dan Laughlin,(R-Erie County) and State Senator Michele Brooks, (R-Mercer County) told the audience at the Manufacturer and Business Association that this is the year the state's minimum wage will finally move from $7.25 an hour. That's where it has sat for the past ten years. Laughlin and Brooks, whose districts cover a large portion of Northwestern Pennsylvania, believe a hike will be approved as part of the next state budget which, they say, should be passed before the June 30 deadline.
Governor Wolf has asked the legislature for an immediate hike to $12 an hour, with 50 cent increases every year until the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour in 2025. Laughlin and Brooks say the conversation among their colleagues in Harrisburg calls for much, much less.
"It would be about $8.50 if it had been tied to inflation. I think there's an appetite to probably do that. I think trying to go to $12.00 right out of the gate would probably kill about 50,000 jobs across the state,” said Laughlin.
"I'm not sure whether it would be an immediate increase to $8.00 or $8.50 or whether it would be incremental. But, I think that's around where the conversations are headed. $8.50, somewhere in there,” said Brooks.
Raising the minimum wage is a hot topic in Pennsylvania right now. The state legislature hasn't taken that kind of action since 2006. The last time the minimum wage was raised in Pennsylvania was in 2009 when it was hiked by the federal government, not the state.
Governor Wolf also wants tipped employees to also receive $12 an hour. Currently they receive $2.83 an hour, with their employer making up the difference if the tips do not reach seven and a quarter.