Sweeney calls for minimum wage hike; calls unemployment rate hike ‘sad’

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney calls for raising the minimum wage and to hike it to levels that are commensurate with the rate of inflation.

“It’s critical.”

He said he will have discussions with the Assembly leadership and plans to introduce a minimum wage measure in the near future.

“Let’s raise the minimum wage,” he said. “It raises the bar for everyone.”

On a related note, Sweeney said the 9.9 percent unemployment rate is proof Gov. Chris Christie’s policies on job growth are not working.

“I’m heartbroken about it,” Sweeney said. “The Jersey comeback has disappeared.”

He also took issue with the administration’s description of the disconnect between the 5,300 jobs that were added, yet there is a growing unemployment rate.

“It’s not inexplicable, it’s sad.” 

Sweeney said it’s now time to get to work and not say things that make for good YouTube and Twitter posts.

“Slogans are great, but results are better. And the results are horrible.”

Sweeney pointed out the bills Democrats have proposed have all been vetoed.

“We waited for him to give solutions,” he said. “We’re going to start sitting down looking for solutions.”

Sweeney said he has proposed a bill that would provide small businesses tax credits if they hired unemployed individuals for a year.

Sweeney calls for minimum wage hike; calls unemployment rate hike ‘sad’