Senator Asks Why Democrats Would Rather Hold Workers Hostage Than Address Minimum Wage
Senator Joe Pennacchio questioned why legislative Democrats fail to consider a bipartisan agreement to increase minimum wage during today’s Senate session.
Today, Senator Pennacchio again submitted an amendment to increase the minimum wage in January 2013, several months before any Democrat plans would be initiated.
“Both parties by and large agree that the minimum wage should be increased, and my amendment hits the Democrats’ mark of $8.50,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “But legislative Democrats still refuse to compromise and would rather hold workers and small businesses as political hostages for next year’s campaigns.”
“Democrats know it is completely misleading to argue that a constitutional amendment is the only way to assure minimum wage will increase,” Pennacchio added. “Senate Republicans have repeatedly tried to compromise on an increase, even in New Jersey’s most difficult economic times after the Great Recession and Superstorm Sandy. To pretend otherwise is neither realistic nor fair.”
Senator Pennacchio’s amendment would 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.
“If you increase costs on small businesses, you must at least provide them predictability so they can budget to remain stable or grow,” Pennacchio concluded. “How can you require automatic, unpredictable increases in worker wages, when employers are not guaranteed annual increases in revenue?”