Letter: Hike in Pa. minimum wage is overdue

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The Philadelphia Inquirer

March 8, 2016

Pa. raise is overdue

Raising the Pennsylvania minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will help fund the 2016-17 state budget while providing a sorely needed assist to hundreds of thousands of working poor.

Raising the minimum wage would generate increased revenue and program savings of $225 million for the upcoming state budget. The Keystone Research Center has estimated that the the increase in wages would generate $121.5 million through increased income and sales taxes. An additional

$104 million would be saved, as higher wages would push families into the fully federally funded, expanded Medicaid program from the regular Medicaid program, which is

48 percent state funded.

We can help raise the pay for more than 1.2 million low-wage workers who have gone without a state increase in the minimum wage since 2007. Every surrounding state has increased its minimum wage. This is a win-win situation for the commonwealth, and we call on the Republican leadership to stop blocking minimum-wage legislation and allow a vote on the issue immediately.

|John Dodds, director, Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Philadelphia, jdoddspup@aol.com

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