Gov. Tom Wolf was at the Mayfair Community Center last week, calling for legislative action on several proposals.
Wolf was joined by state Sens. Tina Tartaglione, John Sabatina Jr., Nikil Saval and Art Haywood and Reps. Mike Driscoll, Joe Hohenstein and Mary Isaacson.
The governor wants to update the amount in tips a worker must receive monthly from $30 to $135 before their employer can reduce their hourly pay from $7.25 per hour to as low as $2.83 per hour.
Wolf is urging the General Assembly to pass S.B. 12, sponsored by Tartaglione, to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a path to $15. Once reaching $15 in 2025, annual minimum wage increases would be based on the Consumer Price Index. The current rate is $7.25.
The governor is urging the legislature to extend paid sick leave to an estimated 400,000 workers. Paid sick leave can be used to recover from an illness, for medical appointments, to care for a family member, or to seek help from abuse or violence.
Wolf supports passage of Tartaglione’s S.B. 310 so state and local public workers are protected by Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety rules.
The governor supports an update to the Unemployment Compensation Law to streamline the process for eligible workers to get the benefit and ensures payments are available to workers during future times of high unemployment and economic downturn.
Wolf pointed out that 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August, and accused Republicans of ignoring the struggles of working people. He’s issued executive orders on the issues he discussed in Mayfair, but wants the legislature to make them permanent.
“Executive actions work as long as I’m governor,” he said.
Wolf called the minimum wage “embarrassingly low.” Jennifer Berrier, secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry, called the wage “unconscionable.”
Tartaglione, minority-party chairwoman of the Labor and Industry Committee, noted that the last minimum wage hike came in 2006.
“They deserve to make $15 an hour,” she said.
Tartaglione, who has served while five governors have been in office, praised Wolf for being the first one to push OSHA safety rules for state and local public workers. ••