Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Monday afternoon to raise the minimum wage for a limited group of Pennsylvania workers and contractors under his jurisdiction from $7.25 to $10.15.
“The goal,” said Wolf, “is to do what I can as governor to make sure that the people working in Pennsylvania have a living wage — or as close to a living wage that we can get it.”
The change affects about 450 state workers who will see the pay increase immediately. Starting in July, certain state contractors will also earn the higher wage, with the exception of human services contractors. The Wolf administration could not say how many contracted employees would be affected by the new higher wage.
Wolf said he made the change in the absence of progress on legislation to hike the current statewide minimum hourly wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.
The Republican-majority Legislature has shrugged off the governor’s past proposals to raise the statewide minimum wage.
Wolf called on lawmakers to advance legislation raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, but a House GOP spokesman said the caucus is more interested in helping Pennsylvanians find work that pays better than minimum wage. The Senate majority leader called the governor’s executive order more symbolic than substantive, and said it shows Wolf is incapable of working with the majority-Republican Legislature.