HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Minimum wage increases will go into effect for 25 states in 2022, although Pennsylvania is not one of them.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is urging the Republican-led General Assembly to act on increasing what he said is an “embarrassingly low $7.25-per-hour minimum wage,” according to a press release.
“Pennsylvania’s food service, retail and social services workers have deserved a minimum wage hike for many years, but today, the need is even more urgent,” Wolf said. “Millions of Pennsylvanians – many of them the frontline workers we called heroes in the early days of the pandemic – are struggling to support their families on hourly wages under $15.”
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global economy, and it’s reflected in a reluctance of workers to take low-wage jobs in the midst of rising inflation.
It’s reported that there are proposed bills waiting in both the House and the Senate for action.
Senator Tina Tartaglione’s S.B. 12 and Representative Patty Kim’s H.B. 345 would both increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 with a pathway to $15. They would then implement annual increases tied to the consumer price index.
The bills also eliminate the tipped wage by installing one fair wage for all workers and would create the opportunity for local municipalities to implement their own minimum wages higher than the statewide rate, according to Wolf.
“The Pennsylvania legislature last increased the minimum wage in 2006 when they passed my legislation, Senate Bill 1090,” Senator Christine Tartaglione said. “Since then, our legislature has failed to raise the minimum wage and provide a livable wage to our lowest earners.
“This inaction is not just a failure in policy, but a failure in humanity and decency. We need to join the 25 states that will raise the minimum wage in 2022 and provide a livable wage to our commonwealth.”
The 25 states include those which neighbor Pennsylvania: Delaware ($10.50), Maryland ($12.20), New Jersey ($13), New York ($13.20), Ohio ($8.80) and West Virginia ($8.75).
According to a poll from Franklin & Marshall College, 67 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters support raising the minimum wage to $12.