The minimum wage law is bad for New Jersey

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The minimum wage bill signed by the governor will do more harm than good for the state, and it will do much more harm than good for northwest New Jersey. First, the new law defines a large business as having six or more employees. By no realistic measure is a company with six employees a large business that is able to drastically increase wages over the course of five years. Prices will rise, benefits and bonuses will be reduced and people will be let go.

Second, the bill ignores economic realities and lessons that we learned the hard way. A recession is on the horizon, and minimum wage increases will hasten job losses and stymie job creation during a period of recovery. New Jersey had one of the slowest recoveries in the nation after last recession because the cost of doing business was too high. The next recovery will be worse as the costs of doing business have risen far higher.

Third, it seems that this bill intentionally left out the seasonal businesses at the cen-ter of northwest New Jersey’s winter economy. Although I asked for this new law to include our seasonal businesses, they will be subject to the higher wage, and our tourism economy will pay the price.

The minimum wage bill was not the best this state could have done. I proposed my own plan that would have raised effective wages above $15 an hour and cut taxes for busi-ness, while preparing for a recession. Unfortunately, politics overcame good policy – and New Jersey will be worse-off for it.

Assemblyman Hal Wirths

NJ District 24

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