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Thousands of Americans Could See an Increase in the Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage Could Be Raised for Thousands of Americans (Credits:

Democratic State Senator Christine Tartaglione recently announced plans to introduce a bill in Pennsylvania to raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour starting July 1, 2024. This proposal includes cost of living adjustments every five years.

Pennsylvania’s current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which Tartaglione describes as a poverty-level wage. According to a 2023 U.S. government analysis, around 67,800 workers in Pennsylvania earn minimum wage or less.

The state hasn’t updated its minimum wage since 2006, lagging behind 30 other states with higher minimum wages despite having a lower cost of living. Democratic State Senator Roni Green also supports this initiative, emphasizing the need for a living wage instead of a minimum wage.

Minimum Wage (Credits: The Hill)

Governor Josh Shapiro has supported a wage increase, citing concerns about Pennsylvania’s competitiveness compared to neighboring states like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and New York. He notes that some workers in border counties prefer jobs in other states with higher wages.

In 2023, a minimum wage increase proposal passed in the House but didn’t progress in the GOP-controlled Senate. Republican Majority Leader Joe Pittman expressed reservations about a $15 per hour wage, highlighting opposition that could impede Tartaglione’s current efforts.

New minimum wage (Credits: The Harris Poll)

Public opinion in Pennsylvania is largely in favor of a minimum wage increase. A Keystone Research Center poll found that 73% of respondents supported raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour over four years, with 77% supporting yearly cost-of-living adjustments afterward.

The minimum wage debate is vast nationwide. On January 1, 2024, 22 states increased their minimum wages, benefiting nearly 10 million workers. California has introduced a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers and $15.50 for other workers, positioning itself among states with higher minimum wages to address the cost of living crisis.

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