Gov. Phil Murphy was sworn into office on Jan. 16, and his inaugural address signaled changes that could impact New Jersey’s small business owners. During the address, ROI-NJ reported, he reiterated his promises from the campaign trail, one of which is raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour (from the current rate of $8.60).
NFIB/NJ State Director Laurie Ehlbeck spoke out against this plan on behalf of small business owners.
“The small business community is certainly concerned with what was said today,” she told ROI-NJ. “In order for the small business community to be part of a stronger and fairer New Jersey, the impact that enacting a minimum wage of $15 an hour and mandating paid leave across the state will have on job creation and our state’s economy as a whole must be considered. Retaining people in this state or even attracting new residents here are certainly priorities that Gov. Murphy shares with small business owners. However, many of today’s proposals discourage job creation and expansion of the private sector. In order for New Jersey to remain competitive with other states, we must focus on economic development, not additional regulation.”
How or when Murphy will pursue this isn’t clear. At a Newark roundtable event, he noted that he didn’t have a timeline in mind and that it wouldn’t happen overnight.
Paid family leave expansion is also on Murphy’s agenda, and NFIB/NJ will be monitoring the development of bills on both of these issues this year.