Marc Stier, executive director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, released the following statement after the PA House passed HB 1500.
House passage of House Bill 1500 is a major step forward for all working people and businesses in the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians have been waiting for seventeen years for an increase in the minimum wage and for seven years for the state to embrace a path to a minimum wage of $15 per hour. This long overdue action comes at an ideal time. Employers all over the state are already raising wages to ensure they can find the employees they need. Raising the minimum wage would create a floor under wages that ensures businesses can raise their wages without being put at a competitive disadvantage. Workers making below, and just above, $15 per hour would see their wages go up, which would generate new consumption that would help businesses, create more jobs, and keep our economy growing.
The bill was not everything we hoped for. We expect the General Assembly to return to the issue next year to end the preemption on local governments setting a higher minimum wage than the state level and also to replace the tipped minimum wage with one fair wage.
Despite the limitation of HB 1500, it is a huge achievement. If senators are listening to their constituents, they will pass this bill as soon as possible.