HARRISBURG, Pa. —Tonight, Pennsylvania State Representative Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, and Senator Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, called for increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage during a live telephone town hall meeting focused on making the state budget work for working families. The call reached almost 3,000 people with a peak of over 300 people on the line at a time.
On the call, Pennsylvanians called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to raise the minimum wage, noting that Pennsylvania is the only state in the tri-state area that has not increased the minimum wage to adjust for the cost of living.
“The well-paid received a corporate tax break. It’s time for the underpaid to get a break, too. We need to raise the minimum wage and put money back in the pockets of hardworking Pennsylvanians,” said Rep. Patty Kim.
Rep. Kim has introduced HB1520, which would raise the wage to $12 an hour once passed, then gradually to $15 an hour by 2024. After 2024, the minimum wage would be increased by an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
“It’s time to make sure that Pennsylvania families who work hard and play by the rules can afford to raise their families in the neighborhoods they love,” said Sen. Art Haywood.Sen. Haywood has introduced SB1045 to complement Rep. Kim’s bill. This bill would also phase in one fair wage for tipped workers and allow local municipalities to increase their own minimum wages above the state minimum.
One 75-year-old woman called in saying she has had to find a part-time job to make ends meet, but could only find a job paying $7.25 an hour.
“Your story is exactly why Rep. Kim and I are fighting to raise the wage,” replied Sen. Haywood.
To close out the call, Rep. Kim explained the House Democrat’s Plan for Pennsylvania and their efforts to put people first in this year’s budget fight – calling the town hall participants to action and asking them to continue to share their stories with state legislators across the Commonwealth.
The town hall was sponsored by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a national resource and strategy center that supports progressive state legislators. The next SiX-sponsored telephone town hall is on Thursday, May 31st, with Representative Perry Warren, D-Bucks County, and is focused on increasing the state’s investment in infrastructure and putting Pennsylvania residents back to work. The registration link for that town hall can be found here.