Governor Wants $15 Minimum Wage Bill Before Christmas

Gov. Phil Murphy Monday called on the Legislature to pass a $15-per-hour minimum wage bill before they break for the holidays.

“We’ve got three weeks,” Murphy said.  “That’s plenty of time for the Legislature to get bills through committees, on to the floors of both the Senate and Assembly, and on to my desk.”

The last legislative voting session before 2019 is scheduled for December 17.

There’s substantial support among state lawmakers for raising the minimum wage to $15, though many recognized that not all jobs should be covered such as seasonal workers, teenagers, farm workers and others. The appropriate phase-in period is also being debated.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) says he wants to get a bill done in the coming weeks, and over the weekend he penned an op-ed for The Star Ledger on the issue, saying that "fiscally, as well as morally, there is nothing to fear."

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) issued a statement following the governor’s press conference: “I stand ready to meet with the Governor and the Assembly Speaker to negotiate the details of a $15 minimum wage phase-in and to quickly pass the agreed-upon legislation to raise the wage.”