Monday, December 6, 2021


Laws advocates say restricting reproductive rights in Montana await decisions by the state Supreme Court, and the ongoing pandemic raises concerns for high blood pressure risks for Americans.


Lasting effects from Rep. Boebert's anti-Muslim comments about Ilhan Omar linger, the National Institutes of Health comments on the severity and longevity of Omicron, and tensions rise at the Russia-Ukraine border.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Report: Increasing Minimum Wage in PA and Beyond Would Help Rebuild Economy


Thursday, September 9, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With the expanded unemployment benefits from the American Rescue Plan ending last week, a new report from the Keystone Research Center showed Pennsylvania and the federal government are at a crossroads and have a chance to implement policies that can build a stronger economy.

The report took a deeper look at the impact COVID-19 had on jobs and the economy over the last 18 months, which showed Pennsylvania had 360,000 fewer jobs in July 2021 than in Feb. 2020.

Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Center, said increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour could boost needed support for Pennsylvania workers.

"For years, Gov. (Tom) Wolf has been proposing, 'Let's get on the same track as our neighbors in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, in terms of raising the wages of low-wage workers,'" Herzenberg explained. "Our Pennsylvania lawmakers need to get off the dime and get in line with what our surrounding states have already done."

The Pennsylvania and federal minimum wage are both $7.25. According to the report, about two million Pennsylvania workers take home an estimated $3 billion less each year due to the state's low minimum wage.

Among other federal policy solutions that the report suggests enacting include passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. The PRO Act would protect workers' rights to unionize and bargain collectively.

Herzenberg pointed out the legislation could also help to address the ways in which companies contribute to climate change.

"Real worker rights again in this country to unionize are both a way to create an economy that works for all and a way to create the kind of social unity we need as a team to reduce carbon emissions," Herzenberg asserted. "Because the globe is in deep trouble."

The PRO Act passed the House of Representatives in March and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Disclosure: Keystone Research Center, Inc. contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
One in 30 teens ages 13 to 17 experience some form of homelessness without a parent or guardian during a year. (Taylor Pecko-Reid/Flickr)

Social Issues

BOSTON -- The holidays can be a tough time for many young people who have aged out of foster care or don't have a stable home situation, and …

Social Issues

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The holidays can be a tough time for young people experiencing homelessness, and Michigan organizations are working to provide …


OWYHEE, Nev. -- There's a light at the end of the tunnel for rural Nevadans struggling with slow, spotty internet service as the Biden …

From 1980 to 2019, Tennessee's jail incarceration rate increased 319%, according to the Vera Institute. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Legal advocacy groups in Tennessee have asked Shelby County Court officials to change their bail and pretrial detention practices…


SAN DIEGUITO LAGOO, Calif. - Coastal protection groups are pressing California to prioritize so-called "blue carbon" ecosystems in the fight against …

North Dakota has seven community action agencies spread across the state. They offer a number of programs, including Head Start. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. - As North Dakota families navigate the latest phase of the pandemic, community action agencies worry the crisis is affecting parents' …

Health and Wellness

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- High blood pressure among Americans was already a concern before the pandemic. Researchers now say the crisis has created greater …

Health and Wellness

By Claire Carlson for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Emily Scott for Big Sky Connection reporting for The Daily Yonder-Public News Service Col…


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