Senator Kip Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) released a statement in light of today’s signing of legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour:
Sen. Kip Bateman said that good policy decisions aren’t made on the campaign trail, and many of the businesses that make NJ’s main streets unique will be forced to close, now that Gov. Murphy has signed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. (SenateNJ.com)
“Campaign promises are one thing, but good policy is another and this legislation is just not good policy. I think we can all agree that the current minimum wage needs to change, but we had a responsibility to raise it in a measured, responsible way – with carve-outs that are actually carve-outs, not just slower phase-outs.
“Many of the decades-old shops that make our Main Streets unique will go out of business. The landscape of the Jersey Shore and seasonal destinations around the state will change forever. Bigger corporations and chains that can afford to do so, will replace entry-level jobs with kiosks and automated services.
“These are the consequences we are seeing in states that have raised the wage in a similar manner. I hope it doesn’t happen in New Jersey, but I don’t think we have left our over-taxed and over-regulated business owners with any other alternative than to replace people with technology or close all together.
“To someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, what’s worse: having a job that doesn’t pay enough? Or no job at all? The answer is pretty clear.
“The minimum wage must go up so that everyone can afford to live and work in New Jersey, but this legislation runs contrary to that goal. Our focus should be on creating jobs, opportunities for workforce training and higher education, and making this state better for business in general.
“We need to get back to making policy decisions together in the halls of the Legislature, instead of in partisan backrooms, or worse at a campaign rally. I hope that next time a big policy decision needs to be made, it can be made in a transparent, bipartisan fashion, where the concerns and viewpoints of people from all walks of life are heard and considered. That’s the kind of leadership the people of New Jersey need and deserve.”
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