No minimum wage hike expected in Pa. budget season

Tony Romeo
June 24, 2019 - 2:40 pm
It appears that there will not be action to increase the minimum wage this week as state lawmakers hold their final scheduled session days before summer recess.

Tony Romeo/KYW Newsradio

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — State lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf have reached agreement on a new state budget calling for no new taxes and fees. The governor says the budget deal meets his objectives, even though it appears there will not be action on some of his priorities – including an increase in the minimum wage – before lawmakers recess for the summer. 

The House Appropriations Committee advanced a budget bill that includes a $160 million increase in basic education funding. But some Democrats on the committee voted against the budget agreement, lamenting the potential loss of the general assistance program. 

The ranking Democrat on the appropriations committee, Matt Bradford of Montgomery County, said that there is “much good news” in the budget, but “In this budget, in this year, the idea that we cannot increase the minimum wage is truly a lost opportunity that I think should be noted.”

Majority leader Bryan Cutler was mum when asked about minimum wage discussions.

“I won’t comment on private discussions. I think what we should be focused on, rather – and what I think this budget does do – is focus on those jobs that pay far more than minimum wage. It’s the career and technical based jobs," Cutler said. 

Related: Minimum wage hike in play as Pa. lawmakers head toward summer recess

The budget would transfer the entire state surplus – a minimum of $250 million – into the rainy day fund.