Monday, October 25, 2021

Play

Younger children may soon be able to get the COVID vaccine, plus a legal dispute over social-studies standards in South Dakota simmers over references to Native American culture.

Play

President Biden makes his case for his spending package in New Jersey as Sen. Joe Manchin says a deal could be reached this week; plus former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testifies before Parliament in London.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Family Budget Data Offered as Argument for PA Minimum Wage Hike

Play

Monday, August 31, 2015   

HARRISBURG, Pa. – As bills to increase the minimum wage languish in Harrisburg, new information is being offered showing people earning the minimum don't come close to a secure standard of living.

The statistics, compiled by the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute, were released late last week. They show what a modest family budget looks like in 18 regions across the state.

Mark Price, a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, says the numbers show minimum wage workers need a raise.

"When you add all the numbers up, there are a lot of families in Pennsylvania that don't earn enough to really live the comfortable, adequate lifestyle," he points out.

The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour, same as the federal minimum, which hasn't been raised since 2009.

According to Price, a full-time job at minimum wage brings in $15,000 a year, far short of what the institute finds necessary for meeting basic needs for a single adult, even in rural areas where the cost of living is slightly lower. Price says a rural adult would need almost twice the income provided by the minimum wage.

"Our estimate is that it's roughly $27,000 a year, and that includes expenses for food, transportation, housing, health care and other basic needs," he explains.

In urban areas, he says the number for a single adult's basic needs climbs to $33,000, and for a two-parent family with children it's more than $52,000.

Advocates are calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. And though it sounds like a lot more money, Price says it's not really a raise.

"We're not talking about raising the minimum wage above what it used to be,” he stresses. “We're really just trying to get it back to where it used to be. We're trying to restore the purchasing power that people have lost over time."

Gov. Tom Wolf has endorsed bills that would raise the wage to $10.10 an hour. A Republican bill would increase it to $8.75, but there's been no action on either proposal.

Price says the longer the budget impasse goes on in Harrisburg, the less likely there will be any minimum wage increase.




get more stories like this via email

Cardiovascular disease occurs every 39 seconds and still is the No. 1 killer of Americans, according to the American Heart Association. (Adobe stock)

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. -- COVID-19 has exposed inequities in health care, and this year's Greater Washington Region Heart Walk aims to raise funds to close …


Health and Wellness

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Congress has an opportunity to help lower prescription-drug costs for Ohioans, who, along with other Americans pay roughly three …

Social Issues

BLOOMINGTON, IN -- Universities in Indiana are working to support Afghan students and scholars; both those still in Afghanistan and those arriving to …


Advocates for clean energy say installation of air-source or ground-source heat pumps would be best to use in the switch to electricity for heating, cooling and cooking. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Groups in support of renewable energy are pushing for legislation and other initiatives to accelerate complete electrification of …

Environment

BOISE, Idaho - Action on behalf of Northwest salmon could be in the works after announcements from the Biden administration, leaders in Washington …

The United States currently has 2,000 operational biogas systems linked to farms, landfills, wastewater treatment facilities and food waste, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- After the first settlement of its kind in North Carolina capping limits on emissions from a biogas plant in Sampson County…

Social Issues

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Agriculture recently completed an investigation into a suburban Portland school for the misuse of toxic …

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - Republican lawmakers in Montana want to investigate the 2020 election. Some are concerned this could weaken trust in voting. In a …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021