By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf laid out a path Tuesday to raise minimum wage in Pennsylvania to $15 an hour.READ MORE: Pa. Supreme Court Rules 'Comfort Dogs' May Be Allowed To Help Witnesses Testify At Trial
The governor once again called for a raise to the state’s “embarrassingly low” minimum wage, starting with $12 an hour on July 1 followed by annual increases of 50 cents until reaching $15 in July 2027.
Wolf was asked about small businesses who can’t afford to pay their employees more or would have to pass the cost off to the customer. Wolf said he was a business owner before becoming governor and said “the better you treat your employees, the better your business does.”
“What I found is that if you pay your workers fairly, even in these low, entry-level jobs, you end up getting a lot more productivity and you become a lot more profitable,” he said.READ MORE: Crews Conducting Rescue Along Monongahela River Near 10th Street Bridge
He pointed to the red state of Florida that passed a constitutional amendment to raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2026, saying more than 60 percent of Florida voters supported the measures.
He also cited a Pew Research Center survey that said two-thirds of Americans support a $15 minimum wage.
“If you’re making $7.25 an hour, you’re taking advantage of a lot of taxpayer-funded programs. And if we get to $12 and on the way to $15, think about how many fewer taxpayer-supported programs those folks are going to have to take advantage of. They’re going to be putting money into the economy,” said Wolf.MORE NEWS: Wolf Administration Warns 99% Of All Wildfires Caused By People As Wildfire Season Begins In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s current minimum wage is $7.25.