New Jersey took another big step towards legalizing the recreational adult-use of cannabis last week, but legislators stopped short of taking the historic vote. After a breakthrough in negotiations over taxes and regulatory oversight between Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney in February, the scene appeared to be set for legalization. A vote was scheduled for Monday, March 25 but was postponed due to a lack of support. Leaders now hope to work out remaining sticking points and pass legislation before June.
By Murray Sabrin
On Feb. 4, Gov. Phil Murphy fulfilled his 2017 campaign promise when he signed the bill that would raise the state’s minimum-wage, in increments, to $15 an hour by 2024. This year the state’s minimum wage would increase to $10 an hour in July and increase by one dollar every January 1 until it reached $15 per hour. Not all workers, however, would see the legal mandated minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. In short, some workers apparently are not deserving of being treated equally.
The governor signed the bill surrounded by Democratic leaders, union workers and other supporters at the headquarters of Make the Road New Jersey, an immigrant advocacy group based in Elizabeth.
The front-page article in The Record, “Raise Praised,” on Feb. 5, captured two moments during the event in separate photos -- supporters cheering enthusiastically with their hands raised and Gov. Murphy with both arms pointing to the sky; beneath him at the podium there was a placard with the statement, “A $15 Minimum Wage: A Path to the Middle Class.”