‘A People’s Budget:’ Activists rally at the Capitol for a higher minimum wage, free college, and better school funding

    A coalition of progressive advocacy groups rallies on the Pa. Capitol steps to call for better funding for public schools, a higher minimum wage, and other items in the 2019 state budget. (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

    A coalition of progressive activist groups rallied on the state Capitol steps on Wednesday afternoon to call for, among other things, a $15/hr minimum wage; free and affordable college; increased funding for K-12 public education, and assurances that Pennsylvania’s communities of color are counted accurately in the 2020 Census.

    The advocates represented Wednesday included the pro-immigrant groups CASA and Make the Road Pa., as well as ONE PA.

    One CASA activist who spoke Wednesday, Josefina Sanchez, made her case for a $15/hr minimum wage in an op-Ed for The Capital-Star published Wednesday. You can read it here.

    Pennsylvania lawmakers have until midnight on June 30 to approve a new budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed more money for public schools and workforce development, and  has proposed raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour this year, and eventually to $15.

    You can read The Capital-Star’s full coverage of Wolf’s budget proposal; the minimum wage debate; the discussion over higher education and free college,  and the need for an accurate Census count, by clicking on the highlighted links.

    An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.


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