Argument raises over minimum wage increase


There’s just a few weeks left before state lawmakers leave the capitol for the summer and once again, a battle is waging over raising the minimum wage. But supporters believe this year could see a change.

The minimum wage has not been raised here in Pennsylvania since 2009, stuck at the federal level of $7.25 an hour. Supporters hope now is the time for that to change.

“We need $15 an hour for every working person here in Pennsylvania,” Lt. Governor John Fetterman said.

Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman calling on lawmakers to raise the state’s minimum wage for the first time in a decade to $12 an hour this year and ultimately to $15 an hour by 2025.

“This isn’t a red issue. This isn’t a blue issue. This isn’t a rural issue or an urban issue. This is a basic human dignity issue,” Fetterman said.

“I am embarrassed that the minimum wage is still 7 dollars and 25 cents here in Pennsylvania,” Bucks County Representative Gene Digirolamo said.

Representative Gene Digirolamo, a Republican, joined Democrats in the Capitol on Tuesday to call on lawmakers to increase the state’s minimum wage, something all of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have done.

“I think we’ve got a really good opportunity,” Digirolamo said.

“We’re open to having the discussion. We think it’s an important discussion to have,” Senate majority leader Senator Jake Corman said.

Jake Corman, the Senate’s Republican majority leader, has hinted that the GOP is willing to negotiate the issue in this year’s budget talks, but also put the brakes on the idea of $15 an hour.

“It’s like anything else. It’s got to be a reasonable discussion. 15 dollars is not a reasonable discussion. We’re open, if we can get it to a number that’s more reasonable, we’ll be happy to have that discussion,” Corman said.

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