Deal struck to raise NJ minimum wage to $15 an hour

David Madden
January 17, 2019 - 5:42 pm
Governor Phil Murphy gives the State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

Tim Larsen/ NJ Governor's Office via Flickr

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TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Murphy have reached a deal that will raise the state’s minimum wage for most workers to $15 an hour over the next five years. 

It took months to reach the accord announced through identical press releases from Murphy’s office and legislative Democrats.

“Today, we are taking a historic step to provide more than one million New Jersey workers a stronger foothold in the middle class,” Murphy said in the release. “No one working a full-time join should ever live in poverty. Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path to $15/hour is good for workers, good for our businesses, and good for our economy.”

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It was a sentiment echoed by Senate President Steve Sweeney, who said, “This is a progressive plan to elevate New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 so that workers have a fair wage that allows them to support themselves and their families. This plan will put New Jersey in the forefront of the national movement to build a high-wage economy.”

Under the plan, the minimum will go to $10 an hour this coming July, $11 by Jan. 1 of next year and a dollar more every year after that until it reaches $15 in 2024. Seasonal workers won’t get there until 2026. 

It’s thought over one million New Jersey residents will benefit from the raise to $15.

Farm workers in the state will see their minimum increase to $12-50 an hour over five years, with a three-member panel deciding then whether to go to $15 by 2027.