Tuesday proved to be a frustrating and ultimately disappointing day as I watched the Pennsylvania House of Representatives vote down an opportunity to hold a debate on increasing the minimum wage, which still sits at a dismal $7.25 per hour (or $2.83 per hour for tipped workers).

Raising the minimum wage has been pushed to the forefront as a key legislative issue in Harrisburg this year, thanks to persistent activist organizing around the state, bi-partisan support for the issue and a legislature where many realize that 13 years is far too long to go without increasing our state minimum wage. Pennsylvanians have certainly seen our cost of living rise in those 13 years, but the minimum wage has remained stagnant. All across the state — in rural, small town and urban communities — the difference between everyday cost of living and what a low-wage worker earns continues to grow at an unmanageable pace.

Standley is the deputy director of outreach and engagement for the PA Budget and Policy Center and We, The People campaign, two organizations working with Susquehanna Valley Progress to advocate for a higher wage and worker rights.

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