“While workers in Pennsylvania have waited, the minimum wage has increased in 29 other states,” said Gov. Wolf.
In his latest budget address, Governor Wolf called for an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which has been at the federal level of $7.25 an hour for ten years.
“When we give people a living wage for their work, it will lift them out of poverty,” said Gov. Wolf.
The Governor’s proposal is to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
On Monday, republican Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said while $15 was too much, the possibility of increasing the minimum wage is a discussion he is willing to have.
“It’s like anything else. It has to be a reasonable discussion. 15 dollars isn’t a reasonable discussion. It’s just not,” said Corman. “If we can get it to a number that’s more reasonable, we’re happy to have that discussion.”
Gordon Denlinger with the National Federation of Independent Business in Pennsylvania says he is concerned about what an increase could mean for jobs.
“Should this be mandated out of Harrisburg? We would say no. It should remain where it is, and let the free market settle labor rates all across PA,” said Denlinger.
The concern is also shared by President Trump’s administration.
“Sometimes, they have to reduce their staff, because they can’t afford more people on at higher wages,” said Linda McMahon, Admininstrator for U.S. Small Business Administration.
While McMahon has concerns about raising the wage, she like Senator Corman, is open to the discussion.
“It’s always a topic that we look very closely at, to determine what is that right amount for small businesses? And it’s always very difficult,” said McMahon.