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State senators seek minimum wage hike

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Sens. Daylin Leach, left, and Sen. Mike Stack
Sens. Daylin Leach, left, and Sen. Mike Stack - (Photo / )

State Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike Stack are seeking a raise to the state minimum wage to $12 an hour and also to kill the sub-minimum wage for employees who receive tips.

Leach, D-King of Prussia, and Stack, D-Philadelphia, introduced Senate Bill 1317 on Tuesday. The lawmakers said in a news release that the bill would index the minimum wage, currently $7.25, to inflation each year, adding that 11 states do that now.

As for the sub-minimum wage, state law allows for a tip credit that lets employers use tips against all but $2.83 of the current minimum wage. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 and has not changed for more than 20 years.

"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 untipped work like dish washing and cleaning bathrooms for $2.83 an hour," Leach said in the release. "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 said increasing the minimum wage would reduce reliance on government assistance in the long run.

"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."

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