Governor Murphy and the Democrat Majority Party Legislative leadership recently announced a deal to increase the state’s minimum wage, with the goal of advancing the legislation through both houses of the State legislature as swiftly as possible, potentially by the end of January. The Assembly version of the bill, A-15, passed the Assembly Labor Committee on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“Consumers will see increased costs in goods as a direct consequence of a state-mandated minimum wage increase. Seniors living with limited disposable incomes will be hit disparately hard when purchasing necessary goods and services, just as they have been by the gas tax increase.
“Too many small businesses would be forced into a position of laying off employees or cutting employees’ hours to compensate for the costs associated with this latest State mandate. Unlike Trenton, these businesses have to meet a bottom line to remain profitable and operational.
“Raising prices for consumers isn’t as easy for businesses as it is for Trenton to raise taxes or fees, or as one business owner wrote us: ‘the business community is not and cannot be a check writer for the state.’
“Here you have the state lecturing businesses about the need to increase wages, while on the other hand, Trenton raises taxes on many of these same workers. Higher, regressive taxes disparately impact low-income workers, but you don’t see the state holding hearings or passing bills on how to provide any meaningful tax relief plan: just the opposite in fact, as evidenced by the passage of this year’s State Budget.
“There is another layer of hypocrisy at work here. Illegal immigration produces lower wages for workers, in addition to denying employment opportunities for American workers. If Trenton was truly committed to increasing wages, then Legislative leaders would be cracking down on illegal immigration, not establishing New Jersey as a sanctuary state.”