Harrisburg, PA – June 13, 2022 – Today, State Senator Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) hosted a press conference with colleagues and advocates to demand Harrisburg politicians raise the minimum wage.

Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has remained stagnant for 13 years. The current minimum wage of $7.25 was put into effect in 2009 as a result of Federal guidelines.

“It’s far past time to raise the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour starting July 1st,” said Sen. Haywood. “We do not need to leave anyone behind. We have the power in Harrisburg to raise the minimum wage. This issue has been on the Governor’s agenda, the Senate Democrats’ agenda, and the House Democrats’ agenda. Now it’s time to get it done.”

Senator Haywood was joined by Representative Patty Kim, another active supporter of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. “We have been saying all along that a higher minimum wage, a living wage, keeps people working. We have devalued our workers for so long, its not a coincidence we have a worker shortage. It’s time to raise the minimum wage,” said Rep. Kim.

Rep. Kim and Senator Tina Tartaglione have companion bills in the state House and Senate to raise the state’s minimum wage. Senate Bill 12 and House Bill 345 would implement substantive reform to current minimum wage law in the Commonwealth.  

In a statement that was submitted by Senator Tartaglione and read at the press conference, she said, “It’s no secret inflation is hurting families across the country. But the inflation we are all seeing, and feeling is exponentially more impactful and hurtful to the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who are making at or near our poverty level minimum wage and haven’t had a raise from the Pa Legislature in 5,818 days.”

Rev. Greg Holston, Senior Advisor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Claire Kovach, Senior Research Analyst with Keystone Research Center, and Rev. Sandra Strauss, Director of Advocacy & Ecumenical Outreach for the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, also spoke during the press conference and joined in Sen. Haywood’s call for leaders in Harrisburg to raise the wage.

A full video of the press conference is available online.