Penn State Students Comment On Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The current minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 per hour, but Governor Josh Shapiro has said that he wants to raise it to $15.
Pennsylvania uses the federal minimum wage, but there are 29 states in addition to the District of Columbia that have rates set higher than the federal rate. There is a push in many states to raise the rates, and Governor Shapiro wants to follow this lead.
Juliet Stemple, a first-year student studying business, thinks that the Pennsylvania minimum wage is too low.
“Coming from New York and working here now, it’s such a big difference… it’s just definitely harder making money here.”
Making the minimum wage higher also raises some concerns. It could reportedly cause an increase in prices and the general cost of living. It could also lead to job losses.
Sabrina Smith, a second-year student studying biology, also has concerns about raising the minimum wage.
“My only hesitance with it is unfortunately without other limitations to force businesses to pay people and not lay people off… the minimum wage should be raised but other things should be done to ensure that people then aren’t understaffed and overworked.”
In February, Representative Roni Green of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives proposed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $18 an hour. The proposed bill would raise the minimum wage incrementally by July 1, 2024.
Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne D. Fontana proposed a similar solution in January. Fontana said that he also planned on introducing a constitutional amendment that would ask voters if they approve raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour starting on January 1, 2025.
The proposal would also require the minimum wage to be adjusted for inflation each year.
Izzy Charboneau is a second-year student majoring in digital and print journalism and political science. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.