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Some local leaders feel minimum wage increase is not the solution to re-building the economy

"We simply don’t believe that this policy is the best way to accomplish this,” said Halper.
Credit: WPMT

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — “The minimum wage in our commonwealth is not a livable wage,” said Governor Wolf.

Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is $7.25 and gov wolf says that is simply not acceptable--especially now with the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“I’m proposing that we increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to 12 dollars per hour effective July 1st 2021 this year. with increase of .50 cents each year until the minimum wage reaches 15 dollars on July 1 2027,” said Governor Wolf.

According to a report by the keystone research center and the Pennsylvania budget and policy center--the rise in the minimum wage will help economic recovery from covid-19.

“Putting money in the pocket of low wage workers who will spend it directly back into local economy. it will lift many low-wage workers out of poverty and off assistance programs and begin to reduce racial pay disparities,” said Claire Kovach from the PA budget and Analyst center.  

More than half the Pennsylvanians who would benefit from this increase work in the service and healthcare industry, according to the report.

“This our frontline and essential workers who have been shouldering a disproportionate impact of the covid-19 pandemic,” said Kovach.

However, the PA Chamber of Business and Industry says they have serious concerns with proposals to significantly increase the minimum wage.

“We share a lot of the same points that advocates make that low-income Pennsylvanians raising families need support. We simply don’t believe that this policy is the best way to accomplish this,” said Alex Halper from the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

Republican Speaker Bryan Cutler also said in a statement in part:

“Rather than focus on the bottom of the pay scale, we will remain focused on helping Pennsylvania fully recover from the pandemic and help move Pennsylvanians out of low-paying jobs and into family-sustaining careers,” said Speaker Cutler.

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