By MARC LEVY
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Years of pressure by Pennsylvania Democrats could yield a state minimum wage increase this year, although it likely will require substantial concessions in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing hiking the hourly minimum from $7.25 to $12. That would be the nation’s highest. He is tying the proposal to his budget plan as a way to provide more tax revenue.
Some Republicans say a minimum wage increase could be acceptable, but at a much lower figure.
The federal government last raised the minimum in 2009, to $7.25 an hour. Since then, 29 states have raised theirs, including every state bordering Pennsylvania.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati says Congress should deal with the issue. But he says its lack of action is forcing states to act.
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