Minimum Wage

JSPAN Urges PA Legislature to Pass a Fair and Adequate Budget Now!

Pennsylvania is facing a budget crisis that is threatening the very lifelines that protect thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and there is no end in sight. The Pennsylvania Legislature must pass a fair and adequate budget now. JSPAN is joining Pennsylvania’s faith community, clergy, and leaders from every faith tradition and signing on to letters that will be sent to members of the Budget Conference Committee, the General Assembly Leadership, and every member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In those letters, we reiterate our common commitment to certain shared principles, including: the value of all persons, regardless of any identifiable demographic characteristic; the need for government to promote, enhance, and protect the ability of all members of society to flourish; and the responsibility of government to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens – children, elderly, poor, physically or mentally fragile – are not made to suffer, but have what they need to create a decent life.

Governor Signs Minimum Wage Bill

Governor Rendell signed a long-awaited bill that will increase the Pennsylvania minimum wage to $6.15/hr by January 1st and $7.15 by July 1st, 2007. Smaller employers (fewer than ten employees) will see a more gradual phase in. While JSPAN lauds the Pennsylvania Legislature's ability to pass the first minimum wage increase in almost a decade, there is still much left to accomplish. Importantly, the new law preempts all local legislation on this subject, thereby preventing Philadelphia and other cities from enacting living wage ordinances. Also, the new legislation does not contain any automatic cost of living feature. That means that we will continue to have to face this issue, even though the salaries of legislators and judges and benefits under the social security system are pegged to inflation. What a shame that the economic health of the working poor will continue to be a political football starting 18 months from now. Delaware also joined Pennsylvania and a dozen other states in raising its minimum wage. Starting from the current $6.15 rate, the Delaware minimum wage will rise by 50 cents on January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008.
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