Here’s Why the Republicans are Freaking the F*$K Out Over One One Hundredth of the #PABudget

Photo credit: SEIU Healthcare, Facebook

Over the weekend, Jan Murphy from the Patriot News reported that Governor Wolf would raise the minimum wage – through an executive order – for all state workers to $10.15 per hour and at a Monday afternoon press conference in the Governor’s office, Governor Wolf stated that it would take immediate effect for 450 maintenance workers and custodial – some of whom are part time – who work for the Commonwealth and for those who hold contracts with the Commonwealth.

According to the Governor, the executive order would cost the state $1.6 million and close to $3 million with employees contracted through the Commonwealth.  When asked if the benefits of raising the minimum wage for these 450 employees out weigh the costs, Governor Wolf stated that “the benefits of a minimum wage far outweigh the costs,” and continued with:

The costs are about 1.6 million for the state.  We should get higher productivity.  We should get higher output, and better morale, lower turnover, lower training costs.

But here’s the thing.  The minuscule costs of raising the minimum wage for state employees when compared to the $30.3 billion compromise budget – about 5 thousandths of a percent to 1 hundredth of a percent – has House Republicans freaking the fuck out.

Here’s the usual clown car of GOP cadres speaking out on Twitter:

 

Raising the minimum wage t0 $10.10 in Pennsylvania is supported by 72 percent of the Commonwealth’s residents and 61 percent of the Commonwealth’s business owners, and this – as I was explaining to my parents who were visiting the capitol today – is why Republicans were freaking out over Governor Wolf’s executive order.

Governor Wolf knows that this idea is wildly popular among the Commonwealth’s residents and it gives him the opportunity to put the ball in the Republican controlled General Assembly’s court.  A bill to raise the wage has seen little movement in the Senate Labor and Industry Committee since Senator Baker held a hearing on the issue last year.  If an overwhelming majority of residents support such a move, then how come Republican Representatives like Seth Grove and Stephen Bloom are against such a move?  It would surely benefit their constituents?  Right?

Well, not really.  It comes down to which constituents you are talking about.  Is it their constituents in Carlisle or York, Pennsylvania?  No, are you kidding me?  It’s their constituents that wear suits and have offices along State Street in Harrisburg.  They are nothing more than talking heads for those inside the Manufactures Association and the Restaurant and Lodging Association who have put up the road blocks to stop such efforts.  Last year, one of these groups opposing the minimum wage increase used the possible threat of inner city poverty as a reason not to raise the wage.

Gestures such as the Governor’s shows us the absurdity of the General Assembly.  A policy that has 70 percent support among the state’s residents has been met with roadblocks because the disconnect politicians have with those who live in their actual districts, not those who are a stones throw from the Capitol.

 

About Sean Kitchen 584 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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