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10:34 AM / Thursday October 19, 2017

14 Feb 2015

Cohen reintroduces his minimum-wage bill to increase wage to $11.50

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February 14, 2015 Category: Color Of Money Posted by:

HARRISBURG– State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Phila., has introduced a comprehensive bill that would increase the minimum wage for workers, including tipped workers, and let local municipalities set their own minimum-wage rates.

The bill (H.B. 436) combines three of last session’s bills that dealt with the minimum wage.

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“Rather than address the minimum wage piecemeal, this bill puts all aspects of the issue into one comprehensive piece of legislation so that the General Assembly could hold a more complete conversation for addressing the disparity of low-income worker wages, particularly for women and minorities,” Cohen said.

The first part of the bill would increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour 60 days after the bill becomes law, to $10.10 an hour one year after the first increase and to $11.50 an hour one year after that. It also would implement a cost-of-living increase on Jan. 1 each year.

The second aspect would increase the wages of tipped workers from the current $2.13 an hour to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

“More and more tipped employers are slipping into poverty,” Cohen said. “The wages of tipped workers have remained at $2.13 an hour for the last 18 years. That’s less than 30 percent of the minimum wage — a minimum wage that already doesn’t pull enough people out of poverty. It’s time the value of tipped worker wages are brought into the 21st century.”

The final provision would repeal a provision of state law that prohibits local governments from setting their own minimum-wage requirements.

“A number of local governments throughout the country are driving the minimum-wage debate forward by issuing their own requirements. I believe that Pennsylvania cities, counties, boroughs and townships should have the same flexibility as their counterparts in other states,” he said.

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