TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey’s Democratic leaders want to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Assembly Leader Vincent Prieto Thursday was joined in Trenton by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, state Sen. Ray Lesniak, who also sponsor the legislation. Dozens of labor and anti-poverty activists also attended the statehouse news conference.
Prieto’s legislation comes as he pushes for broader policies to address poverty in New Jersey.
The minimum wage in New Jersey is currently $8.38 an hour, or just over $17,400 a year for a full-time employee.
Voters approved a referendum in 2013 to raise the state’s wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 and to tie it to inflation.
Prieto says that change set a floor for the wage and that lawmakers can increase it without another ballot question.
Last year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years. Under the plan, minimum wage for some industries — including fast food workers, lifeguards, custodial workers and office assistants — would incrementally until 2018, with the rest of the state following suit by 2021.
Cuomo has also proposed raising the minimum wage for employees who work in the SUNY system.
In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that around 50,000 city employees would see their wages rise to $15 an hour by the end of 2018.
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