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Senator hopes to force vote on $10.10 minimum wage

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.”

“It’s time that the Senate vote now on my proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10.”

“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.”

Larry Portzline
Larry Portzline covers York County, nonprofits, workforce and education. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at [email protected].

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