CLEAR COALITION ENDORSES KIM LEGISLATION TO INCREASE MINIMUM WAGE
HARRISBURG (JANUARY 24, 2017) – The CLEAR Coalition today urged all House members to act quickly and pass legislation to be introduced by State. Rep. Patty Kim that raises the state’s minimum wage.
“Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do. There is no quicker way to lift the incomes of millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Dave Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 and a CLEAR co-founder.
“Voters want action and raising the minimum wage is long, long overdue. It is time for all lawmakers to put middle class families first and that begins with raising the wage.”
Fillman noted that 19 other states, including New Jersey, New York and Ohio raised their minimum wage at the start of this year. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009.
Rep. Kim’s legislation would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and calls for annual increases to keep up with inflation. CLEAR has joined with leaders in the faith community, organized labor and economic justice advocates across the state to support raising the wage.
Data compiled by the PA Budget and Policy Center show that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 – as a first incremental step toward a $15 wage – would immediately boost the income of 1.2 million Pennsylvanians.
The vast majority (84%) of people who would see their wages go up are adults in the prime of their working years, not teenagers and almost half (49%) of workers who will benefit from a minimum wage increase work full-time. Another third of those workers (32%) work more than 20 hours per week.
The increased spending that would result from increasing the minimum wage would generate as many as 6,000 new jobs statewide. In addition, increasing the minimum wage increase would also generate at least $225 million in savings a year for the state Medicaid program.
“This is a no-brainer. Lawmakers can lift the incomes of middle class families across the state and help reduce a massive budget deficit that is expected to reach $1.7 billion by the end of this fiscal year,” Fillman said.
Raising the wage is one of the CLEAR Coalition’s top budget priorities for 2017. The coalition has identified more than $2.5 billion in savings, efficiencies, tax reforms and revenue enhancements to balance the budget and fund core services that will protect middle class jobs and families.
For more information on the CLEAR Coalition, please visit www.clearforpa.org.
For more information on the minimum wage, please visit www.raisethewagepa.org.