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Sweeney Statement on Minimum Wage Increase

THOROFARE – Senator Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, the Senate sponsor of the law to raise the minimum wage by $2 in New Jersey, released the following statement today following an event held by Governor Richard J. Codey at the Bergen County One-Stop Career Center to kick off the wage increase. The increase’s first installment of $1 goes into effect on Saturday.

“Saturday will trigger the start of giving dignity to New Jersey’s workers as they strive for self-sufficiency. The majority of workers earning minimum wage have families to support, and this increase will help them make ends meet more easily. I chose to sponsor this law because I feel it’s time New Jersey worked to ease the burden on its minimum wage earners – it’s just the right thing to do.”

Senator Sweeney’s law increases the State’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15 and creates the “New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission,” comprised of the State Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development and four gubernatorial appointees. The Commission will annually evaluate the State’s minimum wage and issue reports detailing recommendations for necessary wage increases. The Commission’s first report is due to the Legislature no later than December of 2007.

The minimum wage will increase to $7.15 on October 1, 2006.

The measure passed the Senate on February 14, and it was signed into law on April 12.

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