State employees and contractors under Gov. Tom Wolf’s jurisdiction got good news this afternoon when the governor signed an executive order raising their minimum wage to $10.15 an hour.

Gov. Wolf’s 2016-17 budget proposal calls for raising the statewide minimum wage to $10.15 as well, he said.

APSCUF supports both the new and proposed increases, which strengthen Pennsylvania’s workers and bolster the Commonwealth’s overall economy.

Under the current state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a full-time minimum-wage earner makes $15,080 annually — below poverty level for a family of four. Such a household income leaves families struggling to afford necessities, let alone higher education.

As students and their families strive to pay ever-rising tuition and fees at our underfunded universities, an increased minimum wage is an important tool in helping working students and their families obtain quality, affordable higher education.

Gov. Tom Wolf signs the executive order March 7. Photo/PA.gov