Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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New Jersey will become the fourth state in the nation — behind California, New York, and Massachusetts — to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour! On Thursday, Governor Murphy reached an agreement with Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour for most workers by 2024. Seasonal and small business employees will reach $15 by 2026, and will catch up to the standard minimum wage, which will increase every year with inflation, by 2028. Farm workers will reach $12.50 by 2024 and $15 by 2027 if approved by heads of the Labor and Agricultural departments. [NY Times / Nick Corasaniti]
New Jersey’s tipped wage will also get a small boost under the minimum wage proposal, increasing to $5.13 from the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13. NJPP has reported on the unique challenges faced by workers who rely on tips for a majority of their pay, from increased instances of wage theft to a heightened risk of assault and sexual harassment. NJPP and labor advocates will continue to push for the complete phase out of the tipped wage. [NJ.com / Samantha Marcus]
5 Times More
In the wake of last week’s scathing audit of the Economic Development Authority, Governor Murphy focused a big portion of his State of the State address on New Jersey’s runaway subsidy programs. According to an independent analysis by McKinsey, “New Jersey pays more than five times as much as peer states for every dollar of investment it attracts and for every job created or retained.” [McKinsey / Tyler Duvall et al.]
Fortunately, New Jersey’s subsidy programs expire at the end of the current fiscal year and can only be renewed through legislation. On Wednesday, Governor Murphy unveiled his proposal for new, scaled-back incentive programs targeted on fast-growing and high-paying industries. The governor’s plan calls for a new program, NJ Forward, which would be capped at $200 million in annual subsidies and $6,400 in per-job awards. Hard caps like these are among the state’s best defenses against future subsidy abuse. [NJ.com / Matt Arco and Samantha Marcus]
Governor Murphy also used his address to highlight major policies implemented in 2018, including the state’s robust defense of the Affordable Care Act. By implementing a statewide individual mandate and reinsurance fund, and encouraging insurers to offer more low-cost Silver plans, middle-class New Jerseyans will save a combined $3.3 billion on premiums over the next decade. New Jersey premiums for the Silver plan now rank fourth lowest in the nation. [NJPP / Raymond Castro]
NJPP staff broke down some of the major themes of Governor Murphy’s first State of the State speech in this Rapid Reaction recap. This lively (and lightly edited) conversation from NJPP’s conference room includes gifs, a brief cameo by Gritty, and commentary from Sheila Reynertson, Brandon McKoy, and yours truly. [NJPP / Louis Di Paolo]
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