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The push to raise N.J.'s minimum wage

NJDollars030911_optBY ADELE SAMMARCO
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The Garden State is widely known as one of the most expensive states in the nation in which to live, with high taxes and unemployment spiking just over 9 percent.

To help make ends meet for those already struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living in this lagging recession, the state’s Assembly Speaker is urging lawmakers to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, the lowest allowable by federal law, to $8.50 per hour.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) of Essex believes it’s about time the state follow the recommendations of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission made back in 2009 in order to help boost the state’s sluggish economy.

In her reorganization speech delivered this week, Oliver stated, "Now I know some people will call this a burden on businesses, but recent studies by the National Employment Law Project show minimum wage increases do not cost jobs," and went onto add, "In fact, this is economic stimulus. And this is 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. The National Employment Law Project has noted that minimum wage workers are most likely to cycle their money back into the economy.”

Oliver’s push doesn't come without a fight.

The National Federation of Independent Business is urging Governor Christie not to raise the state’s minimum wage.

New Jersey’s NFIB State Director, Laurie Ehlbeck, told CNBC.com that an increase in the minimum wage would only discourage job creation at a time when small businesses are still gaining their footing after a weathering a tough economic climate.

“We understand how tough it is for people to live on a small income,” said Ehlbeck. “But a raise in the minimum wage could actually curb hiring. And it would prevent small businesses from being able to offer health care. Because they are required to pay more doesn’t mean there is more revenue there to pay people.”

And it appears the Governor may be listening.

NJ.com reports the Governor as saying, “I'm showing a willingness to listen, but also honestly saying I'm not inclined to do so," Christie said Thursday about signing the proposed bill if it were approved, a study group on the minimum wage just released a report recommending not to raise it, and added, "As we're just beginning to create private-sector jobs in the state, I do not want to make it more difficult for employers to hire."



 
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 14 January 2012 04:53
sherryerdmann
There is no doubt that we should better build schoolrooms for “ the boy,” than cells and gibbets for “the Man” learn to get a degree from High Speed Universities article in few months and get a job

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