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Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Likely to Stay Lowest in Northeast

February 22, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Pennsylvania’s $7.25-an-hour minimum wage is the lowest in the Northeast, but the prospects for increasing it appear slim. While Gov. Tom Wolf ran for election in 2014 promising to raise it to $10.10 an hour and now wants to increase it to $12, “minimum wage doesn’t seem to be moving in the General Assembly,” Sarah Galbally, his secretary of policy and planning, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are the only two states in the Northeast that use the federal $7.25 minimum; the minimum in states it borders ranges from $8.25 in Delaware to $10.40 in New York. Business groups have opposed the increase: Alex Halper, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s director of government affairs, says “there are simply better ways to address” helping low-income families. According to state figures, about 45-47% of Pennsylvanians earning less than $10.10 in 2016 were 25 or older, and 16-18% had children. “You can’t support a family on minimum wage,” says Samantha Gouldner, 39, of Hunker, an Army veteran and community-college student who is raising two small daughters while making $8.50 from a part-time work-study job. Read more

February 22, 2018

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