HARRISBURG (KDKA) – There’s a new push to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.
The focus is on the frontline workers and getting them a boost in their hourly pay. Some say they worked tirelessly during the pandemic and put their lives at risk.READ MORE: Longtime AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Has Died, Sen. Chuck Schumer Says
At an event on Thursday, Labor and Industry Acting Secretary, Jennifer Berrier, says raising the minimum wage would have an immediate benefit on working families and rural economies.
Right now, Governor Tom Wolf is proposing to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and then $15 an hour by 2027.
Some say there are too many workers who have full-time jobs making $7.25 an hour and can’t pay their bills or feed their families.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Woman Killed By 3 Dogs She Was Watching
A pastor at a church in Centre County says his church’s food bank was feeding record numbers of families even before the pandemic.
Now he sees so many young families struggling to feed their children.
“My impression of all the churches is we’re tired. We’re meant to be a bandaid, we’re not meant to sustain people. We need a structural change like raising the minimum wage,” said Pastor Craig Rose.
But who exactly are these frontline workers? They’re restaurant, retail, agriculture, and healthcare workers.MORE NEWS: Dollar General Lounge Chairs Recalled Over Injury, Amputation Concerns
The secretary says the state’s 29 rural counties who have the highest percentage of these workers would get a raise if the minimum wage went to $15 an hour by 2027.