TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republicans on the appropriations committee spoke against the minimum wage bill advancing through the legislature. Though they are not wholly opposed to a minimum wage increase, they say the Democrats’ plan is flawed and will be a net negative for the state economy.
“I asked every single member representing tens of thousands of businesses, ‘has this government done one thing to make New Jersey more affordable in the last year?’” said Assemblyman Hal Wirths about the testimony given at the Assembly Labor Committee hearing Thursday. “And, every single one of them said, ‘no’ unanimously and they went on that we’ve cost them a lot more money.”
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“There is no economic trigger if there was a downturn and we had a recession and it’s needed in this particular legislation,” Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R-Bergen) pointed out. “Right now this state is unaffordable and if you think it isn’t, you’re kidding yourself.”
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“I think we’ve kind of gone through this process thinking that we’re going to have a wonderful outcome here which could at certain points of time, have an adverse effect on the folks that you think you’re trying to help,” said Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Warren).
DiMaio expressed concerns the increase would lead to skyrocketing Medicaid costs and nursing homes that will come back to haunt the state.
WATCH: DiMaio frightened by the effect on nursing homes from Dems Minimum wage hike
“I have concerns with nursing costs associated with Medicare and Medicaid, cost of goods, season employees,” said Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce. “So we need additional discussion and we need additional amendments. We also need to offset by tax relief.”
DeCroce concerned about hidden Medicare and Medicaid cost Dems minimum wage hike