Yesterday legislation to eventually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour was amended to specifically include the State, counties, municipalities, and school districts as employers.
As a result, the League presented joint testimony with the NJ Association of Counties and the NJ School Boards Association in opposition to the latest version of Assembly, No. 15 (Coughlin D-19/Tucker D-28). In testimony, the League expressed our general concerns that the measure will force local governments to either raise property taxes, cut services, or a combination of both. Specifically, the League noted that the amended bill would increase the minimum wage on entities that are currently subject to the 2% cap and that there was no cap relief in the bill.
The Assembly Labor Committee approved the bill along party lines. The bill is now 2nd referenced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a Monday hearing and the Senate companion, S15, will also be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations committee as well. We are working with NJAC and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) so to provide some data on the potential impact for the Monday committee hearings.
Please note that the current State minimum wage law only applies to private businesses and does not include the State, counties, municipalities, and school districts Allen v. Fauver 327 N.J. Super. 14 (App. Div. 1999). However, all must comply with federal minimum wage requirements.
The bills are likely to be on the January 31 board lists, so please contact your Legislators and ask, at the very least, that governments be taken out of the bill.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x120.