PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There have been rallies and demonstrations across the country as people are calling for higher minimum wages.
Today, the Pennsylvania’s Auditor General made a case for raising the minimum wage as well.
Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is exactly the same as the federal government.
However, 21 states have higher minimum wages, including neighboring Ohio.
Raising the minimum wage has become a major issue in recent weeks with demonstrations in Pittsburgh and around the nation.
Reports of greater income disparity between wealthy CEOs and average working class Americans brought more attention to the issue.
Today, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the minimum wage must be increased to help Pennsylvania’s budget crisis. By giving Pennsylvanians a pay raise, he says fewer will use welfare and other social relief programs.
“You get three things out of this. Number one is you are doing right thing by helping working families make more money. Number two, you are actually going to end up relieving the state burden on social programs. Number three, you will generate more revenue through sales and income tax collections because people will be earning more and spending more.
Now, raising the minimum wage requires the approval of the General Assembly, which is controlled by the Republicans.
Gov. Tom Corbett also opposes increasing the minimum wage.
All of that means politically in 2014, we are not likely to see an increase. However, we are likely to see a huge debate in the campaign for the governor’s reelection.
Listen to what DePasquale had to say to NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s Mike Pintek: