Last week, Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the minimum wage in that city to $15 by 2020.
In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are trying to increase what businesses are required to pay their workers from the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour to $10.10.
Discussions around the state’s minimum wage picked up last session, and a state senator from Philadelphia is trying to make sure the conversation continues.
Democrat Arthur Haywood is going on the offensive, arguing any who are earning minimum wage also have to rely on public assistance because they live near the federal poverty line.
Someone working 40 hours a week with no vacation earns about $15,000 a year.
Haywood says he’s confronted lobbyists for the business world when they argue a minimum wage hike would cost some workers their jobs.
“How many jobs were lost the last time the minimum wage went up? What did he say? ‘I don’t know.’
“So they’re so certain that we’re going to lose jobs this time, yet they have no evidence that we lost jobs last time,” said Haywood.
However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour nationally would likely mean a loss of some jobs.
The decrease could be very slight, or could also reach as many as 1 million jobs across the country, it said.