4TH STATE APPROVES $15/HOUR
New Jersey became the latest state to raise its hourly minimum wage to $15 after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a measure phasing in the higher rate over five years. Murphy signed the bill alongside Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Democratic legislative leaders at a raucous event in Elizabeth where advocates cheered, “Ready for 15,” carried banners with their union affiliation and applauded loudly once the bill was signed. Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill in 2016 to raise the wage. New Jersey joins California, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia in phasing in the higher rate.The $15 wage is a prominent policy goal of left-leaning groups, as well as the fulfillment of a key campaign promise by Murphy. The bill raises the current $8.85 minimum wage to $10 an hour in July, and then increases the rate by $1 in subsequent years until it reaches $15 in 2024, but not for all workers.