Pennsylvania Considers Long-Overdue Minimum Wage Hike as Neighboring States Take Lead in Salary Boosts


Wofford, Luzerne County (Wilkes-Barre) —

There are new rules, and for some people, their wages go up with the new year.

But that won’t happen in Pennsylvania. That’s because lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House decided to raise the state’s minimum wage after 14 years.

The Pennsylvania legislature wants to raise the minimum wage once more. Pennsylvania is still the worst of our three states.

Just around the corner is the start of a new year, which means salaries will go up.

But once again, workers in at least 22 states will see a raise while Pennsylvania will stay the same as it has for the last 14 years.

Gabriel Vargas, a cashier and server, said, “I’m getting paid less than minimum wage. That’s just how it is.”

Vargas said, “Thanks to inflation and the way the economy is right now, I can’t really afford anything. I want to go to college, but that’s not going to happen right now.”

“Should be raised and especially now that prices are going up so much; we need money coming in to live,” he said.

The minimum wage in New Jersey is $14.13, Delaware’s is $11.75, and Pennsylvania’s is $7.25.

Delaware will jump to $13.75 per hour, while New Jersey will increase to $15.13.

“House Bill 1500, for $15 an hour, was passed by the House of Representatives months ago, and it has been sitting in the Senate for many months,” Tarah Probst, a Democrat and state representative for the 189th district, said.

“We’ve been the lowest with minimum wage for at least over a decade, the other surrounding states have had more than us,” she said.

Democrat state representative for the 189th district, Tarah Probst says companies are giving minimum wage, and the bottom line is people cannot afford to live even off of $15 an hour.

Probst is still hoping that the Senate will act on this bill, but he knows that this increase won’t happen right away.

“I have the longest commute in the country,” she said. “People have to go to other states to work and put food on the table for their families. We would love for them to be able to work, thrive, and live in Pennsylvania.”

With this new bill, it will be three to four years before it gets to $15 an hour.

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