NJ Politics Digest: NJ Minimum Wage Set to Rise

The Assembly chamber in the New Jersey statehouse.

The Assembly chamber in the New Jersey statehouse. Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Gov. Phil Murphy and the leaders of the state legislature have all committed to raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. They just can’t agree how to get there.

As they debate, NJ101.5 points out, the state minimum wage will rise on Jan. 1 to $8.85 under a measure approved by state voters tying hikes in the minimum wage to the rate of inflation.

That’s a 2.88 increase, according to NJ101.5, reflecting hikes in the Consumer Price Index for the year ending August 2018.

That, apparently, is not enough for Gov. Phil Murphy, whose “Stronger, Fairer” progressive agenda is pushing for a faster hike to $15 per hour. But Murphy’s fellow Democrats in the legislature aren’t going along with the governor’s campaign pledge, with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin putting forth a plan that would gradually raise the minimum to $15 by 2024, with exemptions for younger workers and certain industries. Murphy has taken out television adds saying that is too long to wait, though Democratic legislative leaders question the impact of a sudden hike on residents and the business climate in a state that already is struggling under a crippling tax burden.

Quote of the Day: “He sometimes comes across as another clueless Goldman Sachs alumnus. The administration seems to always be playing catch-up,” — Asbury Park Press on Gov. Phil Murphy’s first year in office.

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NJ Politics Digest: NJ Minimum Wage Set to Rise