New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is calling for state lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The wage is set to increase to $8.85 in 2019, but Murphy said that’s not good enough.
“Hundreds of thousands of families will still be living in poverty. I cannot for the life of me understand how we can continue to tolerate this,” Murphy said.
New Jersey is an expensive state, and Murphy said when cost-of-living is factored in, New Jersey has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country. He said raising the wage to $15 an hour is a crucial piece in building a foundation for a fair and robust economy.
“It would ultimately help one quarter of our states workforce. Nearly two-thirds of those who would benefit work full time,” Murphy said.
He said it would help those families put food on their table and keep the lights on. Murphy wants the legislature to act before the end of the year.
Former Governor Chris Christie vetoed a similar measure. He argued that it would hurt businesses.
Currently, New Jersey's minimum wage is $8.60 an hour.
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