New Jersey Takes First Steps In Raising Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

December 06, 2018 - 2:11 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) — A top New Jersey lawmaker has taken the first step toward a $15 minimum wage.

Assembly speaker Democrat Craig Coughlin’s bill would get New Jersey to a minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2024, but not for everyone.

Those under eighteen, farm workers and seasonal workers would not see a wage increase until 2029 under the bill.

However, that clause has caused the most backlash, with advocates calling for higher wages especially for farm workers.

“This bill addresses the issue of helping New Jersey’s working poor be better able to afford living in the State while taking into consideration the concerns of the State’s valued small business community,” Coughlin said in a statement.

The Democrat has been caught in the middle of the battle on minimum wage between Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senate president Stephen Sweeney.

Murphy was promised an increased minimum wage when he took office, but the state legislature has yet to vote on the issue.

“Raising the minimum wage will not only lift up the current generation of low-wage workers but ensure fairness for future generations and tackle issues of hunger and inequality,” Coughlin said.

The bill will head to the assembly’s labor committee next week.

If passed, it would see the minimum wage rise to $9.50 an hour by January. It's currently only supposed to go up to $8.85.