Speaking to Pennsylvania workers daily and our working class is critical to truly understanding their needs and then in turn expanding our job market. Too many are working longer hours with less security. Low wages remain yet the cost of living continues to rise. Our economic investments should focus on the long-term, not the short-term, where we promote innovation, entrepreneurship and enhanced job training.
My legislation in the State House would direct the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to conduct a study on income inequality in Pennsylvania. Before fixing this problem, we must truly begin to understand it. Children who are born to families in the lowest fifth of earnings are more than 10 times likely to remain there as adults than they are to earn as much as those in the upper fifth. Unless we invest in building a level playing field, we all lose.
The middle-class in the Lehigh Valley continues to shrink. Pennsylvania is long past due in raising our minimum wage. I will continue to fight to support a minimum wage increase that provides families with sustainable wages. The end goal is to spur economic growth that will create good-paying jobs and increase wages across the board.