Citing new poverty statistics, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is calling for raising the federal minimum wage.
Sen. Casey says the poverty rate in Philadelphia is over 26 percent and the city’s median income is about $35,000 a year. He says this proves a $7.25 minimum wage is not enough. “We know the last time the minimum wage was passed was some six years ago and it makes sense to increase it to $10.10 in three $0.95 increments,” he said. “That would be one way to help increase some of these numbers to reduce the likelihood that someone would find themselves below the poverty line.” Casey says poverty numbers are bad throughout Pennsylvania. “The great recession we all lived through is not limited to urban areas or cities it was really a recession that hit across the board. So you have a lot of small town where the unemployment rate is very high and that is a major driver of poverty.” Casey also wants to bring back benefits for the long-term unemployed.