Senator Joe Pennacchio bashed legislative Democrats for failing to consider a bipartisan agreement to address minimum wage during today’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing on A-2162.
During the Oct. 15 Budget Committee meeting, Senator Pennacchio made a motion to schedule a hearing on A-2162, in lieu of Democrats’ proposal to seek a constitutional amendment. The majority party rejected Pennacchio’s motion, indefinitely tabling compromise and any action on the Democrat Assembly Speaker’s A-2162.
“Today’s committee hearing on A-2162 appeared to reflect a change of heart by Senate Democrats and hopefully a willingness to compromise on a legislative remedy for minimum wage,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “But unfortunately for small businesses and those who are unemployed, the majority party is still making minimum wage a partisan exercise and a campaign tactic for next year.”
Senator Pennacchio is amenable to increasing minimum wage to $8.50 over three years, without irresponsible automatic adjustments or constitutional amendments. Today, he submitted a bill amendment to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage by 35 cents to $7.50 on Jan. 1, 2013; by an additional 40 cents to $7.90 on Jan. 1, 2014; and by 60 more cents to $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2015.
“I am putting aside my own reservations about a minimum wage hike in the aftermath of a recession, which will squeeze small businesses and hurt the unemployed,” Pennacchio added. “I am fully willing to work off of the Assembly Speaker’s bill to responsibly address minimum wage without jeopardizing employment or economic growth.”
“Let’s put partisanship aside and work together for both the employers and workforce on this important issue,” he concluded.