HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Hearings on Gov. Tom Wolf's $34.1 billion budget plan kicked off with a volley of Republican attacks on the Democrat's new proposal to raise Pennsylvania's minimum wage.
Monday's first House budget hearing featured Republicans repeatedly criticizing the broader impact of a minimum wage increase, including whether it would mean fewer entry-level jobs, squeeze small businesses or drive up inflation.
Wolf wants to raise Pennsylvania's hourly minimum to $12 this year, making it one of the nation's highest. Annual 50-cent increases would bring it to $15 an hour in 2025. Wolf says it would boost pay for a million workers and provide savings in programs for the poor.
The Republican-controlled Legislature previously has blocked similar proposals by Wolf.
Most states have increased theirs above the $7.25 federal minimum.