With a change in the composition of the legislature, the General Assembly is better primed than ever to pass a minimum wage bill that can truly change the game for Pennsylvania workers.
The General Assembly should take immediate and corrective action on raising the wage. Equally as important, the General Assembly should ensure a permanent solution to make sure that workers don’t have to wait another 17 years for the legislature to take action.
That’s why we, the undersigned organizations, are urging that any minimum wage bill passed by the House this year lift the state’s preemption over minimum wage and empower local governments to set wages that make the most sense for their communities.
In 2006, when the General Assembly last took action to raise the minimum wage, the state preempted local governments from taking action to raise the wage on their own.
We often hear in the minimum wage debate that the right wage for Johnstown is not the right wage in Philadelphia, and vice versa. What better way to navigate around that problem than to empower local elected leaders to set a minimum wage that makes the most sense for their communities. The federal government does not preempt states from setting a minimum wage higher than the national minimum -- why should Pennsylvania preempt local governments from doing the same thing?
Together, our organizations represent hundreds of thousands of members in every corner of the commonwealth. Every day, we hear from our members and our communities who are struggling with the skyrocketing costs of housing, food, gas and utilities. We are hearing from people facing an end to pandemic SNAP benefits and rising poverty rates. We are facing a cost of living crisis -- and local elected leaders are stripped of the tools that they need to address it.
Preemption is often used as a tool for state governments to prevent big cities with majority Black and brown residents from governing as they see fit. This model should be rejected by Pennsylvania's General Assembly.
Governor Shapiro has called for the statewide minimum wage to increase to $15, and we applaud his commitment to this long past due goal for PA’s working families. The legislature should take up his call -- AND, to avoid another 17 years of waiting -- we urge you to lift preemption and allow local communities to best meet their needs.
In fact, we need the repeal of minimum wage preemption to be your highest priority. The Democratic caucus has consistently supported bills that have included lifting preemption previously. We now call on you to take leadership on pushing for the strongest minimum wage package we can win for workers this year.
Action Together NEPA
African Communities Together
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Philadelphia Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Pittsburgh Chapter
Beaver County United
Berks Stands Up
Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
Black Women’s Policy Center
Casa San Jose
Central PA United
Centre County Wage Justice Coalition
Coalition for Low Income Pennsylvanians
Community Legal Services, Philadelphia
Crawford County United
Erie County United
Family Friendly Pennsylvania
For our Future Action Fund
Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano
Howard United Methodist Church
Immigrant Rights Action
Keystone Research Center
Lancaster Stands Up
Lehigh Valley Stands Up
Make the Road PA
Maternity Care Coalition
National Employment Law Project
NEPA Stands Up
New Pennsylvania Project
New Voices for Reproductive Justice
One Fair Wage
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Pennsylvania Joint Board of Workers United
Pennsylvania Policy Center
Pennsylvania Working Families Party
Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
Pittsburgh Black Worker Center
Pittsburghers for Public Transit
Pride at Work Pennsylvania
Restaurant Opportunities Center Pennsylvania
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
SEIU Local 668
SEIU Pennsylvania State Council
Seven Mountains Central Labor Council
Southwest Pennsylvania Coalition of Labor Union Women
The Welcoming Center
The Women and Girls Foundation
Thomas Merton Center
Unitarian Universalist Justice Pennsylvania
United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania
United Students Against Sweatshops - Student Works at Penn State
Voice of Westmoreland
We the People Pennsylvania
Women’s Law Project