It’s Been Too Long. It’s Time to Raise the Wage.
PA hasn’t seen new minimum wage legislation in 15 years.
On the 15th anniversary of the signing, state Senator Hughes and Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione marked the enactment of Pennsylvania’s last minimum wage legislation with a reenactment and rally with Gov. Tom Wolf at the site of the original bill ceremony.
Hughes and Tartaglione were also joined by Rep. Dwight Evans, and House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton along with House and Senate Democrats to remember the fight to get Senate Bill 1090 passed and to recognize the leaders who continue to speak out against poverty wages in Pennsylvania.
Hughes, who sat with Tartaglione and Gov. Ed Rendell for the 2006 signing at Sharon Baptist Church, said the bill proved the skeptics spectacularly wrong.
“We were told Senate Bill 1090 would cost jobs. We heard dire predictions and gloomy warnings and fake reports from the business lobby,” Hughes said. “None of it was true. Poverty shrunk. Jobs grew. Thousands of Pennsylvanians saw their buying power rise to where it was a decade earlier. You can’t tell us we can’t afford to pay better than poverty level wages. We know better.”
Act 112 of 2006 raised Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15 over two years before the federal government raised the current rate to $7.25 where it has remained. A Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry report compiled after the increase showed it was broadly successful at raising wages and predictions of job loss were met with thousands of jobs gained in sectors that employ minimum wage workers.
Tartaglione and Hughes have continued to offer new minimum wage bills that have not been moved by the Senate majority. Senate Bill 12, would raise the minimum wage to $15 in a series of increments over six years. It remains idled in the Senate Labor and Industry Committee.
Participants at the rally signed a letter to Senate majority leaders asking for a vote and predicting it would pass if allowed on the floor.