In what can been seen as a victory for some Pennsylvania employees, Governor Tom Wolf recently signed an executive order setting the minimum wage for state government employees at $10.15 per hour. With the current minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, this is an almost $3 per hour raise. The Governor’s order applies to employees who work for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and employees who perform services or construction for the Commonwealth. The Order will take effect on or after July 1, 2016.
Unfortunately, this Order falls short of raising the minimum wage for all Commonwealth employees. A current full-time employee working at a minimum wage job makes only $14,500 per year, which is $1,430 below the federal U.S. poverty line for a two person household. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Mid-Atlantic region whose minimum wage has not been increased from $7.25. While Governor Wolf’s Order is a positive step, the Governor and the legislature need to expand this order to include ALL citizens of Pennsylvania.