Complaining that her legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour has been languishing in committee for too long, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) said Wednesday that she will introduce a discharge petition to force the Senate to vote on her bill.
A rarely used maneuver, a discharge petition brings legislation to the floor for consideration by the full Senate or House without the standard committee approval that normally moves a bill – usually because the measure is controversial.The petition must be approved by a majority vote.
Tartaglione said it’s clear Senate Bill 195 will not be considered without the petition, “despite overwhelming support for the increase.”
“Two-hundred-and-forty-five days ago, my proposal to finally give a raise to the lowest paid of Pennsylvania’s workers – minimum wage earners – was referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee,” Tartaglione said during a news conference at the Capitol. “I am introducing a discharge resolution today to get the Senate to vote on what has long been an unfair situation and is becoming dire for those who are only earning $7.25 an hour.”
The senator noted that the $10.10 figure is now “cheap” compared to minimum wage increases in some cities.She said 29 states currently have higher minimum wages than Pennsylvania’s, including bordering states Delaware ($8.25), Maryland ($8.25), New Jersey ($8.38), New York ($8.75), Ohio ($8.10) and West Virginia ($8.00).
Some of these states are scheduled to increase their minimum wages in the near future, she said.In particular, Maryland’s minimum wage is set to increase, by stages, to $10.10 by July 2018, the senator explained.
“It’s time to help Pennsylvania workers get a raise,” Tartaglione said. “It’s time that the Senate vote now on my proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10.”