Murphy Continues Push for $15 Minimum Wage, “I have my signing pen ready to go”

Capitalizing on Amazon raising its minimum wage for all of its New Jersey employees to $15 an hour, Gov. Phil Murphy used the occasion to push the Legislature to match the rate for all State workers according to a report in ROI-NJ.

“Amazon is leading by example through its decision to raise its U.S. minimum wage to $15 an hour,” he said in a statement released Thursday. “This is the right thing to do for the more than 16,000 New Jersey working families who are part of the organization’s growth and success. But, for the more than 1 million New Jersey workers who do not work for Amazon or Whole Foods and who earn less than $15 an hour, the Legislature needs to step up for them now.

“Ensuring a livable wage of $15 an hour for every working family in New Jersey is a top priority on my holiday to-do list, and I urge the Legislature to put it on theirs. We must give working families the ability to afford life’s essentials, to save for their futures and to combat the crisis of hunger so prevalent among low-wage households. We must do this before the holiday season ends. We must give working families the peace of mind of knowing that their 2019 will be better than their 2018.

“Better wages would be the best present we could give our working families. The Legislature has passed this bill before, only to see it vetoed. This time, I have my signing pen ready to go.”

While Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) agree that the state’s minimum wage should be increased to $15 per hour, there has been no agreement between them and the administration as to details such as a phase-in schedule or potential exemptions. Sweeney has also expressed concerns on how the increase will impact the state budget and taxes.