Harrisburg – February 5, 2018 – State Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following statement strongly supporting an increase in the minimum wage. Haywood participated a Capitol news conference today with legislators and groups who back the increase.

Haywood’s statement follows:

“Today I joined with Senator Tina Tartaglione, the Raise the Coalition, small business owners and everyday Pennsylvanians to renew the demand for raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage makes economic sense. It will stimulate our economy by boosting worker wages by $9 billion by 2024 according to a January report from the Keystone Research Center, add an estimated $95 million in payroll revenues and reduce human services costs by $50 million.

“More income in the hands of workers will bolster consumer spending, increase business sales, earnings and jobs. Businesses also report that expensive employee turnover will be reduced by raising the minimum wage. That’s why over 60 percent of small business owners are in favor of raising the minimum wage according to Small Business Majority. The Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce called for raising the minimum wage in 2017.

“Beyond raising the state wage, cities should be able to raise their minimum wages without interference from the state legislature. We should let Philadelphia and any other Pennsylvania city that chooses to increase its minimum wage do so, just as New York City is free to raise the wages higher than the state of New York.

“It’s also time to end the tipped wage and move to one fair wage. The tipped wage for restaurant workers in is $2.83 per hour. Many of these workers don’t either make up the disparity in tips or receive the difference from business owners. Let’s end the subminimum tipped wage.

“Raise the wage starting at $12 per hour and let it rise to $15 by 2024. That’s the right thing to do.”