House Democratic leader praises Wolf action on fair pay

HARRISBURG, March 7 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody praised Gov. Tom Wolf for acting today to raise the wages of the lowest-paid workers performing jobs for the state.

"Governor Wolf's executive order affects a limited number of Pennsylvanians but it’s a clear call to action," Dermody said. "It’s time for the legislature to work together and increase the minimum wage for more than a million other Pennsylvania workers who need and deserve a raise.

"House Democrats enthusiastically support the governor's action and once again call on Republican leaders to move bills introduced by Rep Patty Kim (H.B. 250) and other legislators to raise the minimum wage for workers statewide,” he said.

Pennsylvania has not adjusted its minimum wage in almost 10 years and every adjacent state requires a minimum wage above Pennsylvania's rate of $7.25.

“Our workers need a raise,” Dermody said. "These other states clearly are not losing jobs to Pennsylvania, nor are they underperforming Pennsylvania economically.

“The data and years of research show that a fair increase in the minimum wage would help full-time working adults to afford modest housing and other necessities without damaging Pennsylvania businesses or the economy."

The Democratic leader noted that a statewide boost in the minimum wage would immediately help more than 1 million workers and contribute to closing the state’s $2 billion structural budget deficit with increased income and sales tax revenue and reduced spending on Medicaid and other safety-net services for low-wage workers.

"The House and Senate should follow Governor Wolf's executive order with quick passage of legislation that boosts the minimum wage for all Pennsylvania workers above $10 per hour,” Dermody said. “It’s fair to people who work hard to earn a living and it will help the state’s overall economy."