Economic Growth Bill Would Boost Wage to $8.50; Tie Futures Increases To CPI
(TRENTON) – Legislation to increase New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage to $8.50 and then adjust it annually based on the Consumer Price Index will be heard Thursday by the Assembly Labor Committee.
The bill, which would boost the minimum wage as of July 1, is sponsored by Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), Speaker Pro Tem Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), Majority Conference Leader Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) and Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex).
Oliver during the Assembly reorganization ceremony in January announced increasing the minimum wage – which is now $7.25 per hour – would be a Democratic priority this legislative session.
“This is economic stimulus and a recognition that thousands of households in New Jersey are struggling to subsist on minimum wage jobs that do not allow them to support their families,” Oliver said. “This is also about livable wages. Quite simply, we should all support economic stimulus, increased consumer spending and livable wages.”
“Having a minimum wage that accurately reflects the state’s economic reality is common sense, but also an essential tool that will have an immediate positive effect on our economy,” Greenwald said. “Traditionally, New Jersey has been a leader in providing economic security for its working families by ensuring a fair minimum wage. This is the time to do the right thing by increasing the minimum wage.”
The bill (A-2162) specifically increases New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage rate to $8.50 on July 1, 2012 and then requires that, starting in calendar year 2013, the minimum wage rate be adjusted annually based on any increase in the Consumer Price Index with the adjustment taking effect on July 1 of each year.