State Democrats continue push for $10.10 minimum wage

By - Last modified: March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

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Proposals seeking to increase Pennsylvania's minimum hourly wage to as high as $12 continue to circulate in Harrisburg.

Philadelphia Democratic Sen. Christine Tartaglione on Tuesday said she will replace a bill that was targeting a bump to $9 per hour with one that would increase minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016.

The latter is in line with President Obama's recent efforts to increase hourly wages.

Minimum wage increases under Senate Bill 1300 would be tied to inflation once the base hourly rate hits $10.10, she said.

"A rising tide lifts all boats," Tartaglione said during a rally. "Pennsylvania's hardworking women and men must have a fairer shake when it comes to paydays. They are drowning today with the paltry $7.25 they make each hour."

Citing a study from the University of California, Berkeley, released last week, Tartaglione said the review shows increases in the base hourly rate might mean small increases in product price but also spark higher worker productivity and have a more positive impact on businesses.

The senator's new proposal would allow municipalities with a higher cost of living to consider a higher minimum wage.

The bill — one of several introduced in Pennsylvania over the last few months — seeks to raise the tipped wage from $2.83 per hour to 70 percent of the regular minimum.

"It's an issue best addressed at the federal level," said Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Republicans.

The Republican majority does not plan to address the minimum wage proposals, he said: "I believe there was one occasion in the past when Pennsylvania moved ahead of the federal government, so that is not without precedent — but it is certainly rare."

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