During the New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial primary, candidates fought hard to take ownership of the $15 minimum wage issue to “show their Democratic bona fides.” But it seems the party’s now-nominee - Phil Murphy - doesn’t put his money where his mouth is.
During a 2015 interview with New Jersey Public Television, Murphy went “all in” on a $15 minimum wage. “Fifteen dollars, I’m all in,” said Murphy at the time. “I think that’s probably still well within the limit of where you can afford to do that without impacting employment.”
Even on his campaign website, Murphy advocates for raising the minimum wage to $15 so that “those who want to work can support their family and ensure that no one who works full time in 2017 lives in poverty.”
So one would assume Murphy pays his employees $15 an hour, right?
Last May, The Observer reported that the Murphy campaign paid canvas workers only $12.50 an hour. The revelation was found in documents filed with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.
At the time, a Murphy campaign spokesperson declined to comment on the discrepancy. But it’s worth asking: Why does Murphy want to implement a policy for New Jerseyans that he himself doesn’t want to follow?
New Jerseyans have long toyed with the idea of raising the minimum wage to $15. In August 2016, current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have done just that.
Though Democrats vowed to continue the fight for $15 after Christie’s veto, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced in late last year that the issue would be tabled until after a new governor takes office.
It’ll be up to New Jerseyans to figure out whether they should look to Phil Murphy’s words or his actions when it comes to economic policies.