It’s time for Pa. to raise its minimum wage, and lift so many out of poverty

From: Pennsylvania Capital Star

Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has remained unchanged for 10 years. Since 2009, it has been sitting at $7.25 per hour.

Before taxes are taken out, that equates to $58 per day, or $290 per week, or $1,160 per month. It is time for that to change. Earlier this year, Gov. Tom Wolf called again for the wage to be bumped up to $12 per hour starting in July then gradually increased 50 cents each year until it has reached $15 in 2025.

I applaud the governor’s efforts on this issue. It is a problem that desperately needs solutions. More than half the states in the country have a minimum wage higher than Pennsylvania’s, including all of the neighboring states.

For cities like Philadelphia, where the poverty rate has remained steady at approximately 26 percent for several years now, it is necessary. We don’t have the option to put it off anymore.

The Keystone Research Center estimates that a minimum wage hike would provide a raise to more than 253,000 Philadelphians. While that only equates to about 15 percent of the city’s population, it is a significant step in the right direction. In Allegheny County, the second-most populous after Philadelphia, more than 216,000 residents would receive a raise. That is almost 18 percent of their population.

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