Speaker Prieto & Senate President Sweeney: ‘Minimum wage hike will move more families toward self-sufficiency’

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) had the following published recently in the Newark Burlington County Times:

“Massachusetts, California and Vermont all have a statewide minimum wage over $10, with Oregon soon to follow. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for a $15 minimum wage. Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., will all reach $15 by 2020, and Chicago will hit $13 in 2019. Even Birmingham, Alabama, and Lexington, Kentucky — whose cost of living is much lower than New Jersey’s — have $10.10 minimum wage increases set to go into effect.

When we put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2013 to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 and index it to the rate of inflation, business groups warned that New Jersey would lose 31,000 jobs. The people disagreed and approved the amendment by a 60% to 40% vote.

What happened? New Jersey gained 29,000 jobs in the first year that the minimum wage was increased, then added 64,000 jobs in 2015 — which the Governor has repeatedly pointed to as the largest private sector job growth in New Jersey in the last 15 years.

Raising the minimum wage is not a job killer — it is a job creator…”