July 2, 2006 |
For the first time in a decade, a bill raising the state minimum wage is a pen stroke away from becoming law. After being batted back and forth between the two legislative chambers for months, a measure increasing the minimum wage to $7.15 an hour cleared the Senate yesterday in a bipartisan 38-12 vote, after overwhelmingly passing the House on Friday. Most workers will see the pay boost in stages, receiving the full amount by July 1, 2007. Rendell said in a statement that he will sign the legislation this week, making Pennsylvania the 21st state to increase its minimum wage above the federal minimum hourly rate of $5.15.
February 25, 1987
Congress is talking about increasing the minimum wage. The increase is necessary and overdue. The minimum wage has been stuck since 1981 at $3.35 an hour, a figure agreed upon in a law passed 10 years ago. The only thing more senseless than waiting 10 years to up the weekly income of the underemployed is the reported deal the White House is offering in exchange for support of a gradual minimum wage hike to $4.61. The Reagan administration wants a sub-minimum wage for teen-agers.
October 15, 1986
A die-hard piece of the Reagan administration's "opportunity" agenda has collided with reality - and it's high time. The proposal has been something called the subminimum wage, a $2.50-per-hour palliative peddled by the White House for five years as an answer to high unemployment, especially for youths in urban minority communities. There has been little enthusiasm for the concept in Congress - though Labor Secretary William E. Brock 3d, by acknowledging its pitfalls, was perhaps its least-offensive salesman.
April 7, 1991 |
Quick. What can you buy in Philadelphia for $4.25? Lunch from a sidewalk vendor? Yes. A taxi cab ride? A short one. An hour's worth of labor? Not likely. Last week's increase of the federal minimum wage from $3.80 to $4.25 an hour was a non-event for most workers and employers in the Philadelphia area. That's because wages in the area have long outpaced the minimum set by Congress. Economists and employers say that workers cannot be found at the minimum wage.
July 23, 1996 |
Greg Rago knows a lot about the minimum wage. The long-haired, 19-year-old University of Maryland English major has been stuck at that level for four years. Returning this summer to his old job at Kay's Hallmark in Westmont, he is one of 11.8 million workers nationwide who stand to benefit if the proposed 90-cent increase in the federal minimum wage to $5.15 an hour is enacted. But Rago is a bit nonchalant about the whole thing. He points out that $5.15 is a mere 10 cents an hour more than he makes now under New Jersey's minimum-wage law. That would translate to $4 more a week - hardly enough to buy guitar picks for his band-playing gigs.
September 16, 1999 |
Janet Whittaker is trying to land a job that pays above $5.15 an hour, New Jersey's minimum wage. The 38-year-old single mother wants to get off welfare for good and out of her federally subsidized Section 8 housing unit in Trenton. Her goal is to find a two-bedroom apartment for her and her two young sons. But the odds are dismally stacked against her. To live in a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market montly rent of $722 in the Philadelphia region, Whittaker would have to make at least $28,880 a year.
March 8, 2005 |
Insurgents kill 33 in Iraq as U.S. probes two shootings Iraqi insurgents set off bombs and fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at military convoys, checkpoints and police patrols yesterday, killing 33 people and wounding dozens. No American deaths were reported in Iraq yesterday. Meanwhile, an Italian intelligence agent killed when U.S. troops fired on his car, got a hero's burial in Rome as the White House dismissed as "absurd" the idea he was deliberately shot.
January 17, 1999 |
For the next four installments of this series, we go to New Jersey, where, on Feb. 1, many of those on welfare for two years or longer are supposed to run out of benefits. (The corresponding date in Pennsylvania is March 3.) At the Camden City Board of Social Services, both caseworkers and welfare recipients told me what they face as Feb. 1 approaches. No one knows what the deadline will bring - but they're worried. Miracle economy or not, the jobs of the caseworkers, and the lives of their clientele, are about to get harder.
October 12, 2006 |
It's the pay-raise issue. No, it's the residency issue. In the campaign to represent two Lower Bucks County townships and four boroughs in the Pennsylvania House, the hot-button issue for Democratic challenger Chris King is Republican State Rep. Matt Wright's vote for the 2005 pay raises. Since then, the pay raises have been a factor in elections that cost a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and 17 House and Senate members their jobs. Wright blamed his vote on the state's leading Democrat, even though both branches of the legislature are controlled by the GOP. "It was essentially me giving in to Gov. Rendell, who was lobbying very hard to have a pay-raise package passed," he said.
April 26, 2012 |
DOVER, DEL. - A bill that would allow illegal immigrants in Delaware to pay in-state tuition at colleges and universities has failed to clear a Senate committee. The so-called DREAM Act, which stands for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, failed to win enough votes Wednesday to be released by the Senate Education Committee. The bill would have permitted undocumented students to pay tuition and fees at the in-state, resident rate at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College.