Gov. Wolf, Democratic Legislators Rally for Minimum Wage Increase

July 09, 2021

Today is the 15th anniversary of the last minimum wage bill signing
Two-thirds of Pennsylvanians support a minimum wage increase

Governor Tom Wolf joined Sens. Vincent Hughes and Christine Tartaglione, House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton and numerous House and Senate Democratic members, along with labor, religious and community leaders to call for an increase to Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.

The rally marks the 15th anniversary of Gov. Ed Rendell signing the last minimum wage bill in 2006 at the same location, Sharon Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

“The fact that Pennsylvania’s minimum wage hasn’t increased in 15 years is an embarrassment,” said Gov. Wolf. “It’s an insult to hardworking Pennsylvanians who are doing the same amount of work, but finding that their paychecks cover less and less every single year.

“The Republican majority in the General Assembly refuses to do the right thing for workers in our state. Our minimum wage is leaving Pennsylvanians behind, and that’s just wrong.”

The governor has proposed raising the minimum wage each year since taking office. His plan, included in S.B. 12, prime sponsored by Sen. Tartaglione, would increase the state’s embarrassingly low minimum wage to $12 per hour with a path to $15 per hour.

“Increasing the minimum wage puts more money into the pockets of workers, which gives local businesses more customers,” said Gov. Wolf. “Boosting wages helps businesses attract and keep good employees. Raising the minimum wage allows Pennsylvanians to work their way out of poverty, saves tax dollars, and helps local communities – especially rural communities.”

Pennsylvanians strongly support raising the minimum wage. A Franklin & Marshall College poll released in March found 67 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters support raising the minimum wage to $12.

Eight other states are on a path to $15, including the red state of Florida, which has a Republican governor and legislature and voted for President Trump. Overall, 29 other states, including every state that borders Pennsylvania, have raised the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.

Raising the minimum wage would help to close the pay gap. Women and people of color will gain stronger financial stability with a $15 minimum wage. Six in ten workers getting a pay boost are women, representing nearly 24 percent of all women in the state.  Additionally, 35 percent of Hispanic workers, 29 percent of Black workers and 18 percent of Asian workers would directly benefit.

Seventy-five percent of the workers who would earn more for their hard work are age 20 or older and nearly 40 percent work full-time, which refutes harmful stereotypes by making clear that hundreds of thousands of adults are stuck making poverty wages.

Rural workers also gain the most from raising the minimum wage. The highest percentage of workers getting a raise with a $15 minimum wage are in 29 rural counties, according to findings from the Keystone Research Center. We must not allow any Pennsylvania worker to be left behind as other states raise wages for their working families.

“Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for our economy,” said Gov. Wolf. “It is past time to raise the wage in Pennsylvania. I call on the leadership in the General Assembly to do the right thing, and send a minimum wage increase to my desk before another year goes by.”


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