Thursday, December 30, 2010

Push For Minimum Wage Boost in PA

A liberal-leaning Harrisburg think tank is urging lawmakers to increase the state's minimum wage next year.
Economist Mark Price of the Keystone Research Center says tying the rate to inflation would make a big difference for poorer Pennsylvanians.

"If you raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to account for inflation over the last year, that would work out to about a 12 cent increase. Which would be less than 300 dollars a year. So it's important to note we're not really talking about large sums for most people. But these are low-wage workers who make the order of about 15-thousand dollars a year. And even that small amount goes a long way."

Price says poorer Pennsylvanians are getting left behind, as the cost of living goes up...

"And a minimum wage increase that was, say, tied to the rate of inflation would help put a break on it. It's not going to end poverty in Pennsylvania, and it won't lift a lot of these workers out of poverty. But again, 300 dollars - that means a lot to a lot of low-income families."

Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 - the same as the federal rate.
A 2006 state law gradually increased the minimum wage by more than a dollar between 2007 and July 2009, when it was last increased.
The governor and legislators' salaries are tied to inflation rates, as are cabinet officials' and state judges' pay rates.

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