$15 Minimum Wage Bills on Fast Track

Legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all but a few worker categories passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee Monday along partisan lines. The measure was approved last week by the Assembly Labor Committee, also along partisan lines.

The measure now goes to the floor for a vote by the full Assembly, where it is expected to pass again along partisan lines.

A Senate companion bill was introduced Monday and reported favorably from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. It now heads to the Senate floor for passage in the upper chamber.

Under the legislation (A15; S15), the base minimum wage for New Jersey workers would increase to $10 per hour on July 1, 2019. The following January 1 (2020), the statewide minimum wage would increase to $11 per hour, and then would increase by $1 per hour every new year until it reaches $15 hour in 2024.

Some workers will reach the $15 per hour wage later. Seasonal workers and employees at small businesses of six workers or less would reach $15 per hour by January 1, 2026.

The NJCUL had requested the small employer exemption be increased from to 25 workers and not for profit entitles be afforded a 10-year phase-in period neither of which found its way into the compromise language agreed upon by Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19).