Senators Stack and Leach Propose Minimum Wage Bill

leach and stackState Senators Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) and Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) proposed S.B. 1317, a bill that would eliminate tipped minimum wage and raise the overall minimum wage to $12 an hour.

“The tipped minimum wage hasn’t changed in 23 years and allows business owners to take advantage of low-wage, disproportionately female workers even demanding they do un-tipped work like dish washing and cleaning bathrooms for $2.83 an hour,” Leach said. “Pennsylvania’s economy will grow as over 1 million workers in PA would see their wages rise if we pass this bill. Twenty years of research has shown that in states that have increased the minimum wage, small businesses had lower turnover and increased productivity.”

Stack believes those who defend the “poverty wages” have been putting too much pressure on working families, and it’s getting more and more difficult to handle with the slip ‘n’ slide economy.

“Adjusting the minimum wage to account for inflation prevents working families from being trapped in poverty and reduces dependence on public assistance,” Stack said. “Fair wages for a day’s work is fundamental to achieving the American dream and generating self-determination and independence.”

Advocates point out that since most minimum wage earners, tipped and otherwise are women, poverty wages aggravate the gender pay gap.

“In Pennsylvania, nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers and workers in tipped occupations are women, said Wendy Voet, executive director of WOMEN’S WAY. “In order to move the needle on women’s status as a whole, and to support the economic success of our communities, we need to support policies and programs to enhance women’s economic security.”

S.B. 1317 would index the minimum wage to inflation each year. Stack and Leach mentioned that currently, 11 states index their minimum wage to inflation. Current PA law allows for a tip credit that permits employers to use tips against all but $2.83 of the current $7.25 minimum wage.

The last time the Pennsylvania General Assembly voted to raise the overall minimum wage was in 2007, from $6.25 to $7.15. The state’s minimum wage reached $7.25 per hour when the federal minimum wage increased in 2009. As of now, 21 states have higher minimum wages than PA.

This proposal is higher than the popular federal number of $10.10, and will likely earn backlash from small business organizations. In fact, the National Federation for Independent Businesses recently put out a study saying that raising the minimum wage to above $8 would eliminate jobs in the state.

The National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation report projects the effect that three Pennsylvania minimum wage bills will have on jobs and economic activity in our state. The findings forecast the loss of as many as 28,000 to 119,000 jobs over a ten year period when the wage is increased to $8.75 or $9.00, as those increases are tied to cost-of-living adjustments. According to NFIB, the report uses a widely accepted regional economic model that is also used by the federal government, local governments and universities created by REMI, Inc.

In the busy election season 2014 is turning out to be, both Leach and Stack are making attempts at higher office. Leach wants to replace Rep. Allyson Schwartz, since she left her post to run for governor. Stack is in the middle of the race for lieutenant governor.

10 Responses

  1. You know, I don’t think what we need to be doing is crowding out more young people from the labor force. They’re having enough trouble paying off their college debt as it is.

    Raising the tipped minimum wage is a rule of law thing though.

  2. Back in the day, senator John Heinz put in place the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit. The TJTC gave a credit to employers who provided jobs at the low end to categories of people who historically had a tough time entering the labor market. As it worked out, it was widely used at the low wage end of the job scale in the dozen years it was in place and helped many tens of thousands of small and start up businesses offset the wage costs. It was allowed to expire under Clinton in a deal to offset revenue loss from a tax break for a global financial corporation. Something like that should accompany any hike in the minimum wage.

  3. Stack is also fighting hard for Eye-jobs to be covered under the ACA.

  4. Great idea. Might as well raise it up to $25.00 per hour as Doug Casey suggested back in 1978. The entire county is suffering major economic disaster with more to come and these clowns want to raise the M/wage. Go ahead and raise it then watch the lay offs and closings go viral.

  5. So they want to increase labor costs for the bar/restaurant industry by 300%? What could possibly go wrong?

  6. As long as they don’t make flipping bonds or packaging interest rate swaps a minimum wage job, I’m okay with this.

    We just need more debt so that we can skim our exorbitant fees and have credit default swaps against this unsustainable debt make us a pile in a couple of years. Just how much of that new turnpike fare is going to pay interest on debt versus road repair?

  7. I am waiting to see someone suggest a two tiered minimum wage, one for the teens just entering the workplace and looking for experience and a little extra spending money, and another for those holding a full time job and supporting themselves. I don’t believe an inexperienced teenager is worth $10 per hour and so resist supporting the overall push. If there were a cutout for the inexperienced, I would be all for it.

  8. These guys understand better than most other Democrats how to do negotiations: Ask for $12, demand $11.50, settle for $10.10, which might have a change of getting though. Most Democrats want $10, but are so afraid of losing they ask for $9 and end up getting $8, or nothing at all, thereby failing their constituency.

  9. I’m all for an increase but to go to $12 an hour would cripple many small businesses.

Comments are closed.

  • When Will PA House Agree On Rules?

    • After the Special House Elections (Feb 7) (92%)
    • End of the Month (Jan 31) (4%)
    • End of Next Week (Jan 27) (2%)
    • Early February (Feb 1-6) (2%)

    Total Voters: 152

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