The Lead

House Democratic leaders work a cafeteria shift to build support for minimum wage hike

By: - March 21, 2019 2:40 pm

Rep. Jordan Harris works in the state Capitol cafeteria on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

Wearing hairnets and plastic gloves, Rep. Jordan Harris and Rep. Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia — the Democratic whip and caucus chair, respectively — stocked Coke bottles and filled foam shells with BBQ chicken at the Capitol’s cafeteria Thursday morning to show solidarity with state food service workers.

“We’re both about building consensus,” McClinton said. “And if we’re able to bring awareness to this issue by being [here] today, all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will be able to focus in on this.”

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 a hour in this year’s budget. The Legislature’s Republican majority has rejected that number, but expressed a willingness to negotiate some increase.

Restaurant workers are pushing for the wage increase to also include tipped workers.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.