“Hold our drink, feds.” New Jersey strikes deal for $15 minimum wage

On Wednesday, I blogged about how Democrats in the U.S. Senate were introducing a new bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour.

Yesterday, the State of New Jersey completed a roadmap to a $15/hr minimum wage in the Garden State.Here’s more from Nick Corasaniti reporting (here) at The New York Times:

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey and legislative leaders agreed on Thursday to a deal that would raise the minimum wage to $15, making New Jersey the fourth state in the country to commit to significantly raising incomes to that level…The bill proposes increasing the minimum wage [currently at $8.85] to $10 an hour on July 1. On Jan. 1, it would increase to $11 an hour, and then would increase by $1 an hour every year until it reaches $15 in 2024.

The announcement of an agreement between Mr. Murphy, Stephen M. Sweeney, the senate president, and Craig Coughlin, the speaker of the assembly, amounts to a fait accompli; both Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Coughlin had said they would not introduce a bill unless it could pass and Mr. Murphy would sign it. With Democrats in control of both houses of the legislature, passing the bill will be a formality.

Samantha Marcus and Brent Johnson writing (here) at NJ.com reports that there are some exceptions built into the proposal for small businesses and others:

Seasonal workers and small business employees won’t reach $15 an hour until 2026. Farm workers will hit $12.50 in 2024, after which it would be left up to state officials in the executive branch whether to keep going to $15 an hour by 2027.

The tipped wage will rise gradually from $2.13 an hour to $5.13.

NJ.com reports that the Senate may vote on the bill by the end of January.

On the heels of the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act and the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, New Jersey is fast cementing its place as the most progressive state in the country for local employees.


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