HARRISBURG – The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would phase in a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania over the next three years, according to Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), who supported the measure.
“Pennsylvania residents – especially those in my community – have indicated that they support raising the minimum wage in a way that is not disruptive for small employers,” Corman said.
“Compromise is not a four-letter word. You know what is? Zero. Zero is what you get when you don’t compromise. This bill reflects a compromise that will help low-wage earners and reflect the economic realities of small employers face.”
Corman said Senate Bill 79 represents a responsible approach that will increase the current $7.25 minimum wage rate incrementally to $9.50 by January of 2022.
Currently, Pennsylvania is one of 21 states whose minimum wage is set at the federal minimum, while half of the 50 states have authorized an automatic future wage increase of some sort.
Corman added that with unemployment at historic lows, many employers have already raised entry pay to attract new hires.
Based on data in a recent Independent Fiscal Office analysis of minimum wage proposals, in 2018 there were 23,000 individuals out of 101 million working full-time and earning between $7.25-an-hour and $8-an-hour, while there were another 89,000 individuals working part-time and earning within that hourly wage rate range.