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‘Shame on us’ Labor & Industry secretary says of Pa.’s stalled minimum wage

Cassie Miller Feb 24, 2020

Embarrassing.

That’s the one word that Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Gerard Oleksiak and his top deputy used last week to describe Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which has been mired at $7.25 an hour for more than a decade.

The two Wolf administration officials made the case for a wage hike during the agency’s annual budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee. They told the Republican-controlled panel that the Legislature’s lack of movement on the issue has been “frustrating.”

The Labor & Industry Department is currently spending slightly more than $80 million, according to data from the Wolf administration.

After picking up some traction last fall, with a state Senate vote on a compromise bill boosting the wage to $9.50 an hour, the push for a wage hike sputtered and died in the House. Earlier this year, Gov. Tom Wolf declared the compromise bill dead, and renewed his push to hike the wage to $15 an hour, with future increases tied to inflation.

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