Gov. Wolf Praises President Biden for Raising the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to $15

April 27, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf is applauding President Joe Biden for his executive action to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for hundreds of thousands of people working on federal contracts. Gov. Wolf signed a similar executive order in 2018 that is raising the minimum wage for state employees and state contractors and will reach $15 in 2024.

“Our nation must be a place where hard work is rewarded and I am proud to applaud President Biden for this action,” said Gov. Wolf. “I signed a similar executive order in 2018 because our legislature has not increased the wage floor in a decade. Hardworking people should not have to struggle with putting food on the table or paying the mortgage or rent, because of poverty wages. These executive orders are a start and are helping hundreds of thousands of people, but its long past time for the state legislature and Congress to raise the minimum wage for all workers”

Earlier this year the governor renewed his call to raise Pennsylvania’s embarrassingly low $7.25 minimum wage to $12 per hour on July 1, with annual increases of $0.50 until reaching $15 per hour on July 1, 2027. Creating a path to $15 will raise the incomes of more than 1.1 million Pennsylvania workers, provide better stability for women, rural and tipped workers and allow thousands of people to work their way off public assistance and strengthen the economy for everyone.

Raising the wage has strong support. A Franklin & Marshall College poll released in March found 67 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters support raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour as the governor is proposing.

A $15 minimum wage is also gaining national support, including among red states. In the November 2020 election, voters in Florida – which has a Republican governor and legislature and voted for President Trump – passed a constitutional amendment to raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2026. More than 60 percent of Florida voters supported the measure to help lift the wages of workers in the southern state.

Nationally, eight states are on a path to $15, including our neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. Approximately 42 percent of the US workforce will have a $15 minimum wage by 2026. Two-thirds of Americans support a $15 minimum wage, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

“I am thankful that President Biden is taking this bold action to help more workers earn a living wage. There are many federal contractors in Pennsylvania and the president’s executive order will help those workers to earn a better living and provide for their families. A living wage creates more customers to local businesses and grows the economy for everyone.”

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that as New York state gradually raising its minimum wage to $15, wages are increasing without jobs losses. Low-wage workers living in New York along the Pennsylvania border saw their pay increase by more than 25 percent, while the wages of Pennsylvania workers in the northern tier rose only 15 percent.

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