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State Senator Looks for Massive Minimum Wage Hike

( – The last time Pennsylvania raised its minimum wage was in 2009. It went up from $7.15 per hour to $7.25. State Senator Christine Tartaglione (D) is now pushing for a massive hike.

At the end of May, Tartaglione announced the introduction of Senate Bill 1186, a new bill to make the state’s minimum wage a “living wage.” Under the Democratic lawmaker’s legislation, the wage would increase from $7.25 to $20. The new legislation would go into effect on July 1, 2024, if she is successful. It would also increase every five years to keep pace with the cost of living. The legislation would also

  • allow local governments to set a minimum wage that was larger than the state wage
  • protect against wage theft by allowing the Department of Labor & Industry to recover penalties and wages for all violations
  • set the tipped wage to 70% of the minimum wage
  • increase penalties for violations
  • enshrine that tips are the sole property of employees
  • allow workers to receive damages and unpaid wages when employers violate the law.

In a statement, she pointed to Senate Bill 1090, the 2009 legislation, saying “it was a promise to continue the fight for” the state’s “lowest earners and ensure that the needs” aren’t “forgotten or cast aside.” She claimed the current minimum wage is only a penny higher than the state’s poverty level guidelines of $7.24 an hour.

The Democrat said it had been “6,506 days of systemic inaction” by the state, and it was “clear” they needed to take “big and bold legislative action.” Tartaglione pushed for a $15 per hour minimum wage in the past, hoping it would go into effect on January 1, but she failed. Now she claims “$15 an hour is no longer a living wage.”

If the state passes the legislation, Pennsylvania would have the highest minimum wage in the country. The current highest is the District of Columbia at $17 per hour.

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