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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is not an easy proposition going to work every day and knowing, no matter how hard you work, you are barely going to make ends meet.
Josh Knunckle is a single father working as a security guard and stretching every dollar.
“To pay for groceries, pay for bills, pay for rent and its terrible to struggle,” he said.
Those prices continue to rise while Knunckle’s paycheck crawls.
Raising the minimum wage has been a quest of Gov. Tom Wolf since he came into office, and he tweeted Wednesday morning: “….the PA legislature hasn’t given workers a raise in 9 yrs. More than half the nation has raised the minimum wages including all of Pa’s neighbors – it’s time for PA to #RaiseTheWage”
A PA family of 2 earning minimum wage & working full-time falls below the poverty line, but the PA legislature hasn’t given workers a raise in 9 yrs. More than half the nation has raised their minimum wages, including all of PA’s neighbors — it’s time for PA to #RaiseTheWage. pic.twitter.com/JrexN5Vv95
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 13, 2018
“You have to treat your workers fairly,” he said during a raise the minimum wage event at Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh’s Strip District two years ago. “There’s a moral issue there. But there’s also a practical issue. Makes good business sense.”
That same day, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto declared, “No Pittsburgher who works 40 hours a week should be forced to live in poverty, and that’s really what $7.25 is — $15,000 a year before taxes.”
Peduto began a progressive increase for city workers to $15 an hour in 2015. He has also called on other employers to follow suit.
Gov. Wolf points out in his tweet that Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey are all above $8 an hour. Maryland is at $9.25, and New York at $10.40 an hour.
State Sen. Jay Costa says the minimum wage impacts the state budget which they are currently finalizing for the next fiscal year so any effort to increase the wage will have to wait until fall.
But he cautions, as he did at Wigle in 2016, “There’s an obstructionist mentality among the Republicans in the House and the Senate not to do anything, and that’s what’s preventing this from happening.”
A request for comment from Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai resulted in a no comment.