The great PA minimum wage debate continues across the state

Local News

A proposal to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania seems to be gaining some momentum.  The governor proposing an increase in his budget address yesterday. Now, some in the business community are speaking out against the idea.  

At the State Capitol today, members of the House Labor and Industry Committee talked with experts about the governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage, and the impact it could have.

Wolf saying, “I’m proud to announce a proposal to increase the minimum wage for all workers to 12 dollars an hour, starting July 1st.”

Under Governor Tom Wolf’s plan, included in his latest budget proposal, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania would then gradually rise, ultimately to $15 in 2025.  It’s been stuck at $7.25 for the last 10 years.

Gordon Denlinger, with the National Federation of Independent Business Owners, says, “We know this is going to cost jobs. We know this is going to cause business closures.”  He points to studies indicating that a $12 an hour minimum wage would result in about 30,000 jobs lost.

He says, “At the end of the day, we think the minimum wage is just a door of entry to get teenagers, maybe folks coming out of criminal justice, back into productive society.”

At a meeting of the House Labor and Industry Committee on Wednesday, Antony Davies, an Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University, said, “I think it’s important to keep in mind that raising the minimum wage is good for some people, and bad for others.”

Davies told lawmakers that, while some will benefit from a rise in the minimum wage, he believes the ones hurt will be those who are most vulnerable. “Who ends up being let go is precisely the worker we’re looking to help the most. The people with the least skills, the least education, the least job experience.”

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