Jobs & Economy
The centerpiece of the Senate Democrats agenda are jobs, the economy, and providing a just foundation for progress of working people. We want to empower working people to find fulfilling work, earn better paychecks and benefits, and build wealth over their careers that will provide for their families and themselves in retirement. A fair economy that accrues opportunities and rewards for all people, not just those at the top rungs of the economic ladder is achievable.
Increase the Minimum Wage
The old adage that a rising tide lifts all ships still holds true. 800,000 Pennsylvanians would see an increase in their paychecks if a modest increase from $7.25 to $9.00 was made by July. That would add nearly $1 billion to the paychecks of working people and significantly boost economic activity in the state.
Invest in Employees
Under our plans the state will provide programs and training to improve the income and conditions of workers. Customized job training, connecting community colleges and technical schools with employers, improving worker investment board resources, creating career readiness councils are at the top of our agenda. With unemployment at all-time lows, it is time for all Pennsylvanian’s to benefit from the improving economy. Bettering paychecks, benefits, and working environment is at the heart of the Senate Democrats priorities.
End Workplace Harassment and Sexual Abuse
We must empower people in the workplace. Providing safe and equal working conditions is the first step. We will not stand for a person’s job or promotion to be leveraged for sex. We will not stand for a person’s livelihood to be taken away from them because they reported workplace harassment.
Encourage Small Business Development and Growth
Small businesses improve the economy from the ground up, create new jobs, and build wealth at the community level. We must foster an environment that provides minor owned businesses with opportunities to be establish and grow that have been previously unattainable. Focused small business loans, access to capital for growth, technical assistance, and employee training support are on the Senate Democrat agenda.
Provide Incentives to Existing Businesses
Whether it’s to attract multi-national corporations or provide that last bit of financing for a mid-size company to grow, we must step up to provide the competitive advantage necessary for Pennsylvania to be business friendly. We have worked hard to make our tax climate more business friendly. We have provided many tax credits and exemptions to attract and retain companies. But we plan to do more to grow our business community.
Require Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Healthy employees are productive employees. We need to ensure that people are earning time off to take care of themselves and their families. Choosing between a paycheck and going to the doctor shouldn’t be a choice at all. In addition to the benefits for employees, paid sick leave leads to less sick days for the overall workforce, less turnover, better use of preventive care, and higher workplace productivity.
Tax credits and grants to support the most critical sector of Pennsylvania’s past and future will ensure a productive economy supporting family sustaining jobs. Whether it making sure companies have the capital to grow or the pipeline to find skilled employees, we must make sure that the Commonwealth is doing all it can to support our manufacturing industry.
Stabilize and Grow Distressed Communities
Many of our cities and larger municipalities are continuing to struggle with budget deficits and debt, aging infrastructure, and stagnant economies. The Senate Democrats plans for the larger economy will go a long way toward turning these trends around. We will also help these communities fight blight by investing in demolition, rehabilitation, and rebuilding, providing technical assistance for budgeting and financing, providing local tax relief through property tax reform, and strengthen local school districts.
Provide our Children with the Tools to Maximize their Potential
Strategic investments in programs that will provide our children with the resources necessary to help ensure a bright future must be a priority. Funding a statewide summer reading pilot program to ensure children read at grade level, establishing mentoring programs for kids as they transition from middle school to high school, and providing state resources for after-school programs focused on areas such as STEM education are all actions we can take to help our kids maximize their potential and lay the foundation for future success.
Our Members at Work
Bethlehem, April 13, 2018 − State Sen. Lisa M. Boscola today announced a $246,000 state grant aimed at training Lehigh Valley workers for machining jobs in manufacturing plants. “I am excited about the growth and continued diversification of our economy,” Boscola...read more
Harrisburg -- April 4, 2018 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) announced that six local organizations have received grant funding to improve and expand their apprenticeship programs and services. “These grants are a great investment in the possibilities of...read more
Harrisburg, April 4, 2018 – Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) announced apprenticeship grant funding has been approved for a variety of services and associations in his district. “These grants will continue to help individuals in our area receive the job training...read more
Harrisburg, April 3, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that the Hershey Company, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, and the Lehigh Carbon Community College have received funding to support pre-apprenticeship and registered...read more
Harrisburg — April 3, 2017 — Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) said that nearly $1 million in PAsmart Initiative Grants were awarded to various pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs in Philadelphia. “These grants are incredibly...read more
Pittsburgh, PA − April 3, 2018 − Today Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. announced the award of nearly $250,000 in state funding for apprenticeship and job training projects in Allegheny County. “Apprenticeships are a valuable, accessible tool for reaching a...read more
Bethlehem, April 3, 2018 − State Sen. Lisa Boscola today announced three state grants aimed at supporting pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs. “I am a proud supporter of programs aimed at training workers for good jobs,” Boscola said. “These...read more
Harrisburg, March 27, 2018 – Sponsored by Senator Judith L. Schwank (D-Berks County), the Executive Women’s Council of Pittsburgh (EWC) has been instrumental in bringing Senate Resolution 255 to the forefront. The Resolution, titled “Encouraging equitable and diverse...read more
Philadelphia – March 23, 2018 — Grassroots advocacy and activism were likely factors in CVS’s decision to raise its minimum wage and help their workers, state Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) said today. “CVS officials met with us and were willing to...read more
Harrisburg- March 16, 2018 - State Sen. Jim Brewster (D- Allegheny/Westmoreland) announced today that Extra Space Management, Inc. of West Mifflin Borough in Allegheny County will receive a $84,176 grant for the installation of a rooftop photovoltaic power generation...read more
HARRISBURG, March 16, 2018 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) announced that Triple Bottom Brewing Company and Alliance HSP Philadelphia, two growing businesses in his district, have received grant and loan funding to support economic development projects in the...read more
Harrisburg – March 12, 2018 – Bolstering farms and farmers, promoting the use of locally produced food and significantly increasing a tax credit to spur job creation and investment in rural communities is the focus of a package of bills offered by three state Senate Democrats.read more
HARRISBURG, PA, February 6, 2018 – Sen. Christine Tartaglione applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s commitment of $100 million toward workforce development programs as well as his support for raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage in the Fiscal 2019 budget proposal that the governor...read more
Harrisburg – February 6, 2018 – State Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following statement strongly supporting Governor Tom Wolf’s Budget Address for the 2018-19 fiscal year: “I am proud to support the priorities contained in Governor Tom...read more
HARRISBURG, February 6, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today released the following statement regarding Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed $32.987 billion state budget: “I applaud Governor Wolf for his continued dedication and investment in the...read more
Lawmakers and workers’ advocates renewed the call for fair, family-sustaining wages HARRISBURG, PA, February 5, 2018 – State Sen. Christine Tartaglione today announced recently introduced legislation that proposes to raise Pennsylvania’s long-stagnant minimum wage....read more
By State Senator Vincent Hughes
Frustrated by years of resistance from legislative Republicans to raise worker wages, Gov. Tom Wolf announced plans to lift the state’s salary threshold below which Pennsylvania salaried workers automatically receive overtime pay. The governor’s action is hard on the heels of efforts by my colleagues and I to address worker pay and make our wage and salary system equitable.