HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf and community leaders rallied on Friday for a vote to raise the state’s minimum wage in Philadelphia.
Friday, July 9, marked the 15 year anniversary since the last changes were made to the minimum wage which currently stands at $7.25, equivalent to the federal minimum wage that was set in 2009.
Governor Wolf marked the anniversary by calling it a national embarrassment. According to the report, Pa. has the lowest minimum wage in the U.S. Wolf also pointed out that even republican states have higher minimum wages.
“Other states, red states, like Florida, has a referendum where they voted, the majority voted, to put themselves on a path to $15 an hour,” Wold said.
The last increase was under former Governor Ed Rendell.
“The single most important thing I did was helping this bill passed on July 9, 15 years ago,” Rendell said.
The Governor has repeatedly pushed for the raise, proposing an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour starting July 1, 2021, and a $.50 increase every year until reaching $15 per hour on July 1, 2027.
But the push has long been an issue in the Republican-controlled legislature.
“What is the goal to raising the minimum wage? If that is to give someone more buying powers, keep in mind that the price of goods and services is going to increase and they’re likely going to end up at the same spot they are now,” said Republican lawmaker, Congressman Fred Keller.
The spending plan Wolf ultimately signed did not include the boost. He instead signed a compromise bill that increased education funding and put billions of dollars in the state’s reserve.
On Friday, the Governor will join Democratic legislators and community leaders in Philadelphia demanding the Republican-controlled legislature allow a vote to raise the wage.
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