Pennsylvania State Senator Introduces Bill for $20 Minimum Wage

State Senator Christine Tartaglione has introduced a bill to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $20 per hour, which would be the highest in the country. Senate Bill 1186 aims to increase the state’s minimum wage from the current federal rate of $7.25 to $20 by July 1, 2024. Tartaglione called the existing wage “inadequate” in light of current inflation.

Current Minimum Wage Comparisons

  • Washington, D.C.: $17 per hour (highest)
  • Washington state: $16.28 per hour
  • California: $16 per hour

Tartaglione’s Position

In a June 2023 memo, Tartaglione argued that the $7.25 minimum wage is insufficient and unethical amid inflation. She noted that 63,000 Pennsylvanians survive on minimum wage, with another 417,000 earning between $7.26 and $12 per hour. Full-time workers in sectors like childcare, home health, and retail earn only $15,080 annually at this rate.

Living Wage Insights

According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, in Pennsylvania:

  • A single adult with no children needs $21.95 per hour to live.
  • Two adults with no children and one working need $30.67 per hour.
  • Two working adults with no children need $15.33 per hour each.


Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009. Tartaglione believes that even a $15 minimum wage is outdated after “two decades of inaction.”

Impact on Workers

Tartaglione emphasized that many minimum wage workers struggle to afford essentials like rent, transportation, food, and prescriptions, often relying on public assistance.

“You shouldn’t have to work four or five jobs to put food on the table and pay rent or make a choice,” Tartaglione told Fox43.

Breitbart News attempted to contact Tartaglione for further comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

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