(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee Chairman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic) and Senate Economic Growth Committee Chairman Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union) joined New Jersey Working Families and a coalition of other groups Thursday to issue a multimedia package of a news conference in which they call for increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The legislation to increase the state minimum wage to $15 is part of the Speaker’s ongoing effort to have the General Assembly focus on ways to lift New Jersey residents out of poverty, rebuild the middle-class and make New Jersey more affordable.
According to a recent report by Legal Services of New Jersey, more New Jersey residents are in poverty now than in the past five decades. The agency estimates about 2.8 million adults and 800,000 children lived poverty in New Jersey 2014. That’s 40 percent higher than it was before the 2008 Great Recession.
The current take home pay for a full time minimum wage worker in New Jersey is $17,430.40 a year.
According to a United Way report on financial need in New Jersey, a single New Jerseyan with no children would need to earn $13.78 just to afford essential needs like food and shelter, and $19.73 to achieve basic economic stability.
The multimedia package consists of the news conference and audio of same.
The audio file is available upon request.