Patty Kim seeks minimum wage boost


State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, unveiled her updated minimum wage bill at a Capitol news conference today in the Capitol Media Center.


During the event, Kim and other lawmakers discussed the merits of phasing in increases that differentiate for small businesses.


This proposed change in the minimum wage scale for workers across the commonwealth will be further examined during a public hearing on the matter at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30 at the YWCA, Highmark Room, 1101 Market St.


“In the budget negotiations, minimum wage should be a top priority,” Kim said. “Opponents will say we can’t afford to increase the minimum wage, but I must maintain, as we begin the 2017 legislative session, that this is something we simply cannot afford not to do.”


Kim’s proposal includes seven scheduled increases, beginning with $12 per hour effective July 1, with additional 50 cent incremental increases yearly to $15 per hour by 2023.


Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only earns $15,080, some $4,700 below the poverty line, requiring many people to rely on government assistance programs to get by.


At next week's hearing, Kim will be joined by Mary Quinn, president and CEO of the YWCA Harrisburg, Mark Price, Ph.D., a labor economist from the Keystone Research Center, and others to discuss her proposal in more detail.


For more information, contact Kim’s office at (717) 986-1673 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.