Raising the state’s minimum wage has been a political battle in Pennsylvania for years.
With the governor now calling for a $15 an hour wage, one top Republican lawmaker says he’s open to negotiation.
Governor Tom Wolf says, “While workers in Pennsylvania have waited, the minimum wage has increased in 29 other states.”
Which is why, in his latest budget address, Governor Wolf called for an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which has sat 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.”
The governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
Senator Corman says, “It’s like anything else. It has to be a reasonable discussion. $15 isn’t a reasonable discussion. It’s just not.”
But, 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’s willing to have.
“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 PA says, “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.” He’s concerned about what an increase could mean for jobs, a concern shared by the Trump Administration.
Linda McMahon Chief of the Small Business Administration says, “Sometimes, they have to reduce their staff, because they can’t afford more people on at higher wages.”
But, while she has concerns about raising the wage, she; like Senator Corman, is open to the discussion.
McMahon says, “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.”