Governor Tom Wolf continues to push for a $15 an hour “living wage” in Pennsylvania. His proposal would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 an hour starting in July and raise it by 50 cents an hour every year after through 2025, when it would reach $15. After that, he proposed that it be tied to the rate of inflation
Wolf says he will include the minimum wage plan in his 2019-20 budget proposal to be introduced next week. The governor tried and failed to get lawmakers on board with the minimum wage increase during his first term. One change from his original plan calls for an end to the separate minimum wage for “tipped” workers. The wage, instituted 21 years ago, is set at $2.83 an hour. Seven other states have eliminated the “tipped” wage.
“Tipped workers are not making enough, and in some cases, they have to endure harassment or worse, so they can make a livable wage,” said Governor Wolf. “This is a moral failing. These workers deserve a fair wage and they’ve waited long enough. I’m tired of standing by and watching tipped workers get cast aside because we’ve been afraid to speak the truth.”
Over the last decade, 29 other states have raised their minimum wage. New Jersey recently became the fourth state to plan an eventual increase to a $15 minimum wage.
Several business groups have announced their opposition to the plan saying the increase is too much for small businesses that already operate on thin profit margins. They fear many businesses would be forced to eliminate jobs to pay the wage increase.