Cape May County Herald

Statewide Minimum Wage Increase In Effect July 1

Cape May County Herald — July 1, 2019

Press Release

TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy July 1 lauded New Jersey's increase in the minimum wage from $8.85 per hour to $10 per hour taking effect July 1, 2019, putting the state on a path to a $15 minimum wage.

"Today marks a monumental step on our path to a stronger and fairer New Jersey," stated Murphy in a release. "Our economy grows when everyone can participate in it - every hardworking New Jerseyan deserves a fair wage that allow them to put food on the table and gas in their car. Together, we are making New Jersey more affordable and giving over a million New Jerseyans a pathway to the middle class."

Under the law the governor signed in February, after the July 1 increase, the statewide minimum wage will continue to increase by $1 per hour every Jan. 1 until it reaches $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2024.

For seasonal workers and employees at small businesses with five or fewer workers, the base minimum wage will reach $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2026.

By Jan. 1, 2028, workers in these groups will receive the minimum wage inclusive of inflation adjustments that take place from 2024 to 2028, equalizing the minimum wage with the main cohort of New Jersey workers.

For agricultural workers, the base minimum wage will increase to $12.50 per hour by Jan. 1, 2024.

No later than March 31, 2024, the state Labor Commissioner and Secretary of Agriculture will jointly decide whether to recommend that the minimum wage for agricultural workers increase to $15 per hour by Jan.1, 2027, as specified in the bill.

If they cannot come to an agreement, a third member, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, will break the tie.

If there is a recommendation to disapprove of the scheduled increases or suggest an alternative pathway, the Legislature will have the ability to implement that recommendation by passage of a concurrent resolution.

"Today's minimum wage increase to $10 per hour gives low-wage families firmer ground on which to stand and moves us closer to Gov. Murphy's vision of a stronger, fairer economy. The law's multi-year phase-in to $15 per hour gives the state's businesses the time they need to adjust to the higher wage requirements," stated Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

"The fight for a living wage takes a step in the right direction today, when New Jersey's minimum wage will be raised to $10," stated Sue Altman, CEO of Working Families. "This is a long-fought victory by labor, grassroots activists, and advocates, and we commend Gov. Murphy and legislative leadership for taking action. With every raise in the wage toward our fight for $15, we secure greater economic justice for working people across New Jersey, who can now support their families by covering the basics and buying goods and services from New Jersey businesses."

"New Jersey small business owners understand what's good for their employees and businesses, and that starts by putting New Jersey workers on the road to be paid a livable wage," stated Raj Bath, business representative for the New Jersey Main Street Alliance. "Paying workers a decent livable wage means they will play a vital part in the local economy which is a win-win for Main Street. New Jersey will have a thriving economic future as long as we continue to invest in our middle-class workers and our Main Street."

"As SEIU's flagship campaign, 32BJ SEIU worked tirelessly for years to see the minimum wage in New Jersey begin its rise to $15.00," stated Kevin Brown, SEIU 32BJ vice president and New Jersey district director.

"Today our uphill battle finally pays off as the lowest paid people in our community earning $8.85/hour take home $10/hour instead. This is a real and meaningful change for the lives of over one million working families who will benefit from the long-lasting economic impacts of this legislation. Our union sisters and brothers rallied, canvassed and fought to raise the bar for the entire state because we know that a rising tide lifts all boats, and it starts from the bottom. We thank Gov. Murphy, the legislature, and the support of labor allies behind us. We will celebrate again when the minimum wage increases to $11 on Jan.1, 2020, and 32BJ will continue to lead in the fight for working people, immigrants and people of color who deserve better."

"At times, we don't even know if we'll be able to pay rent with what we make," stated Rosa Fernandez of New Labor. "With a minimum wage raise now and every January until 2024, workers around New Jersey can make ends meet and breathe a little easier."

"As the minimum wage begins to increase on July 1, New Jersey is taking an historic step towards a dignity wage for about one million workers who are mostly people of color, women, and low-wage workers," stated Renee Koubiadis, executive director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. "With the increase to $10 an hour, more individuals and families will be able to afford basic needs instead of going without."

"Raising New Jersey's minimum wage to $15 an hour is one of the most consequential, pro-worker policies passed in decades," stated Brandon McKoy, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. "With the first increase to $10 an hour, approximately half a million workers will see a boost in their take home pay. This will help alleviate poverty and promote spending in local communities, benefiting workers, their children, and businesses alike."

"This next increase in the minimum wage will help many more working families put food on the table and pay bills," stated Dena Mottola Jaborska, associate director, New Jersey Citizen Action."It's an important step forward to providing all New Jersey workers a livable wage. No one who works full time should struggle to make ends meet."

"At Foley Waite LLC, our New Jersey architectural woodworking firm has employed skilled cabinet makers, helpers and apprentices since 1978," stated Kelly Conklin, managing partner at Foley Waite LLC. "We have supported raising the minimum wage from the start. Gov. Murphy recognizes as we do, a living wage grows our economy, not in boardrooms and mansions, it grows the economy on Main Street. This increase is long overdue and we thank the Governor for his leadership on this critically important policy."

"We're very happy New Jersey's minimum wage is increasing," stated Gail Friedberg, CEO of Zago Manufacturing. "We support a $15 minimum wage because no one who works full-time should live in poverty. And we know from experience that fair pay is better for business. It brings low turnover, which helps us innovate. With a higher wage floor and more dependable workforce, business owners can think about ways to make the business better instead of spending time and money to replace people who left to find a job that pays the bills. I look forward to seeing the economic ripple effect our state will experience thanks to raising the minimum wage."

"Today's historic step toward $15 minimum wage with an increase to $10 dollars per hour from $8.85 dollars per hour will give the working men and women the pay that they deserve," stated Tony Sandkamp, CEO of Sandkamp Woodworks. "At Sandkamp Woodworks, we stand with the governor's commitment to increase the wage so that every person in the state has the opportunity to improve their lives whether it be providing for their families or meeting their financial needs."

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NJBIA Statement on July 1 Minimum Wage Increase

New Jersey Business & Industry Association President & CEO Michele Siekerka, Esq., issued the following statement July 1 as the minimum wage increased to $10 per hour, the first step toward the phase-in of a $15 minimum wage by Jan. 1, 2024. See NJBIA's Fast Facts on the Minimum Wage law here for more information about the law's provisions.

"Since the minimum wage increase became law, NJBIA has been monitoring the impacts of the increase in real time, gathering information on what our members are doing to adjust their business models and relaying that to our policymakers.

"Generally and not surprisingly, we're seeing many of the same concerns we had noted while advocating for a phased-in and limited increase — that they'll need to raise costs or cut expenses to accommodate the higher rate. Obviously, small businesses will be more impacted by this increase to $10 an hour. But we do expect that once we hit Jan. 1, 2020, when even smaller businesses with fewer than six workers are affected that these impacts will be more widely seen and felt, especially when the increase hits our tourism industry and seasonal workers, as well. (The minimum wage for employers with five or less workers rises to $10.30 an hour on Jan. 1 and to $11 an hour for all other employers.)

"We thank our policymakers for recognizing the need to be responsive to the new law, in real time, via their consideration of new legislation to mitigate unintended consequences. Most recently, we supported the proposal (S3483) for tax credits to encourage employers to hire more workers under 18 years old — as these youth workers are at risk of not being hired because of the higher rate."

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