Lawmakers battle over minimum wage as summer break draw near


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With less than two weeks to go before the June 30 budget deadline, some Democratic lawmakers are continuing to push for an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

The minimum wage in Pennsylvania has been at the federal level of $7.25 an hour for 10 years. It is less than the minimum wage of all of our surrounding states.

Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for an increase that starts at $12 an hour in 2019 and gradually increases to $15 an hour in 2025.

Some Republican lawmakers say they’re open to an increase, but they also say $15 an hour is too much. They say it will end up hurting businesses and ultimately employees.

The governor says some Republicans have brought ideas to his staff, but nothing concrete.

“I’m sort of getting the sense that everybody, both Democrats and Republicans, want to do something to address the $7.25 minimum wage. I think there’s a broad agreement that that’s inadequate,” Wolf said. “I’m hoping we can all come together. I don’t know at this point.”

But some lawmakers aren’t so sure a compromise can be reached before the budget deadline.

“I don’t think we’re going to see any movement on minimum wage,” Republican Rep. Seth Grove said during a taping of “This Week in Pennsylvania”. “I personally don’t know if that grand bargain for minimum wage is prevalent because colleagues of mine on the Democrat side are saying we’re not going below 12 and Republicans are saying we’re not going above 10.”

Senate Majority Chairman Jake Corman has said he is willing to discuss a minimum wage hike, but he believes $15 an hour is unreasonable.

“I said in March that I was open to a discussion to consider changing the minimum wage,” Corman said in a statement on Monday. “We are continuing to have that discussion so we can get to a place where all parties agree.”

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