From the Star Ledger:
The Democrat-controlled state Legislature on Thursday gave approval to an historic increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years, with a $1.15 raise coming this July.
The votes seal the deal reached earlier this month by Gov. Phil Murphy, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin — all Democrats — on a bill to boost the Garden State’s minimum wage by 70 percent for most workers while putting agricultural, seasonal and small business employees on a slower path to $15.
The bill passed the Assembly 52-25 and the Senate 23-16 on Thursday.
Murphy said he will sign the bill Monday, putting the trio of Democrats within striking distance of a major progressive policy achievement.
“History has shown us that raising the minimum wage is actually good for the business community, it’s good for New Jersey, and most importantly it’s good for the people that benefit from it,” Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said before the Assembly vote.
Under the bill, the minimum wage for most workers would increase to $10 an hour on July 1, to $11 on Jan. 1, 2020, $12 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021, $13 in 2022, $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024.
New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal Trenton think tank, estimated more than 1 million workers will benefit from the wage hike. But about 10 percent of those employees will be put on a slower path.