Increase the minimum wage
Pennsylvania has not seen a raise in the minimum wage since 2019. It currently sits at the Federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, lower than every state that surrounds us. Sharif supports legislation that would immediately raise the minimum wage to $12, followed by a gradual 50 cent increases until the rate reached $15 an hour in 2025. The rate would then automatically increase to keep up with inflation.
Develop a Main Street Strategy
Every Pennsylvania town, whether urban or rural, has at least one main street. These main streets are hubs for businesses and have a lot of traffic. Sharif wants to beautify these main streets with more cleanliness and better signage and lighting. Inviting environments can better people's moods and reduce stress. By creating and implementing plans to improve our main streets, we can not only ameliorate the lives of our residents, but also create many jobs and entice businesses to come and thrive throughout the commonwealth. One strategy would be giving incentives or compensation to businesses to enhance their exteriors while another is implement anti-littering campaigns throughout the commonwealth. We must transform our main streets into appealing, bustling business corridors.
Invest in the Renewable Energy Sector
Pennsylvania is one of the biggest leaders in the renewable and alternative energy sector. According to The Union of Concerned Scientists, 25 percent of our energy will most likely come from renewable sources by 2020, which would create at least 202,000 jobs. If Pennsylvania continues to invest in water, solar and hydrogen energy, it would effectively create new employment opportunities. Senator Sharif Street understands the role of renewable energy, not only as a job-creator, but also as a healthier alternative to fossil fuel usage.
Make Serious Investments in Infrastructure
Sharif believes we need to invest in our commonwealth to stay competative. He also wants to focus on key infrastucture investments that will help deliver needed services to all Pennsylvanians: Investments in public school infrasturcture, rural broadband, hospital expansion and construction, and green technology infrastructure.
Grow the Home Healthcare Idustry
Healthcare services are a growing industry in Pennsylvania and across the country. And with such a large senior population, Pennsylvania needs quality home healthcare options for those who want to age at home, rather than be forced into healthcare institutions. Not only are these services important for the health of our citizens, they create important jobs. We need to make sure that home healtcare workers are fairly paid, and that seniors have easy access to these servies.
End the Prohibition on Cannabis
Pennsylvania’s emerging cannabis industry could result in significant employment opportunities for residents of the commonwealth. In fact, recently legalized medical marijuana has already created various new cannabis-related jobs. The production and sale of legalized adult use cannabis has the potential to significantly benefit our commonwealth’s economy. According to a report from New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market will create More than 250,000 jobs by 2020. Sharif understands this and has become a national leader in the fight to end the prohibition of cannabis.