Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been stagnant at the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour for the last 10 years, which is at least $1 less than every neighboring state.
There are now three different proposals in Harrisburg to raise the minimum wage in the commonwealth. A bill awaiting action in the Senate would incrememntally raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2024. Gov. Tom Wolf has called on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour, and his Republican opponent for governor, Scott Wagner, supports raising the hourly wage to $8.75.
"If it were brought to an up or down vote, I think a reasonable, modest increase would actually pass both houses of the legislature," Wolf said. "Why there's reluctance to bring it up for a vote, I'm not sure."
Wolf is skeptical that a vote could happen before the November elections, where he is up for reelection. But he says it could prove to be an important topic for voters.
"And that will determine whether people come into Harrisburg after the November elections with a resolve to do something about the minimum wage," he said.
According to the Keystone Research Center, raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour would raise the wages of 791,000 Pennsylvania workers.