NJ Politics Digest: When Will State Act on Minimum Wage?

NEWARK, NJ, UNITED STATES - 2019/01/08: Protester seen outside a press conference in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport with a placard telling people that FAA Safety Inspectors have been furloughed in Newark, New Jersey.
NEWARK, NJ, UNITED STATES – 2019/01/08: Protester seen outside a press conference in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport with a placard telling people that FAA Safety Inspectors have been furloughed in Newark, New Jersey. Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Murphy all want to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, but no one seems quite sure when action on any plan is going to move forward.

Murphy was scheduled to meet with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin on Thursday to, among other things, hash out their differences on how to go about raising the minimum wage. While all three are Democrats, Murphy wants to see the hike applied faster and to more people than Sweeney and Coughlin do.

Thursday’s meeting was cancelled because Murphy’s chief of staff had to testify before a special legislative committee investigating the Murphy administration giving a high-paying job to an operative on the governor’s campaign who is accused of raping a campaign volunteer, according to NJ.com.
The newsite said the meeting would have been the first between Murphy and the legislators since they held a two-hour meeting 28 days earlier. A make-up meeting hasn’t been scheduled, according to the report.

Sweeney told the site that while progress was made at the December meeting, Murphy has yet to respond to a proposal about raising the wage Sweeney and Coughlin sent after the gathering.

At an event Thursday, Murphy insisted that progress was being made, citing ” a very significant amount of communication in the margins,” according to the report.

Murphy said that while he was optimistic a deal could be reached, he also admitted he didn’t know when such an agreement might be arrived at.

Quote of the Day: “Consistent with our EEO training, Mr. Platkin and I decided that I would relay Ms. Brennan’s claims to my EEO counterpart at the Attorney General’s Office for appropriate action,” — Heather Taylor, the state’s chief ethics officer, on why she didn’t take further action after learning of allegations a highly placed member of the administration, raped a volunteer on Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign.

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