In a promising step toward a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania, a state Senate committee has approved a compromise to increase the wage to $9.50.
Currently, the Keystone State uses the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Set in 2009, it has not budged in decade.
Republican leaders in the legislature reportedly negotiated with Governor Tom Wolf behind closed doors. The resulting compromise is lower than Wolf’s target, but still an increase.
The Office of the Governor released a statement to the Associated Press.
“While he still believes the minimum wage should be $12 or more, this would represent a significant step towards that goal,” his office said.
If the bill passes both the state Senate and House, which is far from guaranteed, the change would not be immediate. Instead, the wage would raise over four years to $9.50 by 2022.
Senate Republicans are expected to bring the bill up for a vote this week. It is uncertain whether the bill would pass in the House.