HARRISBURG—PA Budget and Policy Center director Marc Stier made the following statement in response to a press release sent out today by the Pennsylvania Republican Party criticizing a Budget Day of Action and rally/press conference in Harrisburg today in support of raising the state minimum wage:
“The PA Republican Party is criticizing the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and the We The People campaign for offering citizens a bus trip or a gift card to pay for their gas to make the trip to Harrisburg to advocate for a raise in the minimum wage.
“Somehow in their effort to criticize us for helping Pennsylvanians who are taking a day off—in many cases from minimum wage jobs—to exercise their rights as citizens, they have forgotten that the business community that opposes raising the minimum wage has paid lobbyists who no doubt get their mileage and meals paid for when they are at the Capitol. Because the PA legislature hasn’t raised the minimum wage for 13 years, low-wage workers can’t afford the tank of gas to come talk to their own legislators in Harrisburg. A gift card to cover part of their travel is the least we can do to help them exercise their rights as citizens.
“This attack shows how little the PA GOP thinks of low-wage workers and those who support them. It shows that they believe only the rich and powerful have a right to speak out and be heard on public policy issues.
“Republican legislators should listen to the almost 70% of Pennsylvanians who support raising the minimum wage by providing a more livable wage to their hard-working constituents.”