Despite GOP’s attempts to compromise, Wolf says he’s not abandoning overtime plan

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address for the 2019-20 fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address for the 2019-20 fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

This article originally appeared on PA Post.

Governor Tom Wolf says he’s not backing off his plan to qualify more Pennsylvanians for overtime pay.

He wants to raise the salary cap on automatic overtime, so workers who make more can get time-and-a-half. A new federal rule that took effect this week is already increasing the salary cap on mandatory time-and-a-half pay from $23,600 a year, to $35,500.

Wolf has proposed increasing it even more, to $45,000.

Some Republicans had hoped to convince Wolf to stop the planned change by making a deal on one of his longtime priorities, a minimum wage increase. The commonwealth’s minimum is $7.25 an hour, the lowest wage allowed under federal law.

All the states that surround Pennsylvania have raised their wages.

Minimum wage rates by state

29 states have a minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s cartographic boundary shapefiles, 2016 edition, United States, U.S. Department of Labor / As of January 1, 2020 (PA Post/Ed Mahon)

Toward the end of last year, the GOP-controlled Senate passed a modest wage increase from $7.25 to $9.50 an hour. Wolf, in return, halted the approval process for his overtime plan and appeared willing to abandon it.

But now, he said, he’s not confident the House will follow suit.

“I had some conversations but there’s no commitments,” he said. “I think there’s a recognition that we’ve got to do something. $7.25 is inadequate. But it’s a matter of whether there’s a will to move forward.”

So, Wolf said he’s going forward with his overtime plan.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which is controlled by Democrats, is slated to vote on the rule January 31st.

Lawmakers will be back in session next week. House Republicans haven’t said what they plan to do with the Senate’s minimum wage bill.

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