By Dustin Slaughter
State Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) last week proposed legislation that would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 per hour over a three-year period.
“If you talk to other business owners, you can’t find anybody at $7.25 an hour to fill a lot of positions. So, they’re paying more,” Wagner told WITF on Friday. “There are convenience store operators, grocery store operators that are starting out at $9.50, $10 an hour.”
It is not clear why Wagner introduced a bill that, if passed, would raise wages to $8.75 instead of $9.50 or $10 per hour. Wagner’s office did not respond to The Declaration’s request for comment.
Minimum wage increase advocates in Philadelphia shot back at Wagner. In a press release yesterday, supporters of a much more ambitious $15 per hour hike had this to say:
“This bill is a naked attempt to cut across the public debate on raising the wage and divide the forces fighting for an increase by offering a ‘reasonable’ compromise.”
15 Now Philly added that Wagner’s effort amounts to “poverty preservation”.
Wagner’s Democratic counterpart, Christine Tartaglione – who represents Philadelphia – recently introduced legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which, if passed, would take effect starting next year.
Local wage hike advocates intend to pressure the city this year into adopting its own minimum wage law in order to launch a legal challenge against the state’s preemption clause.