TRENTON-In a release issued today by the New Jersey Assembly Democrat, more New Jersey residents are in poverty than have been since 2008, when President Obama was elected. In fact, poverty in the Garden State has risen by 40% since Obama’s inauguration, according to the release. New Jersey Democrats have maintained a voting majority in both the New Jersey state senate and assembly during this period.
“According to a recent report by Legal Services of New Jersey, more New Jersey residents are in poverty now than in the past five decades. The agency estimates about 2.8 million adults and 800,000 children lived poverty in New Jersey 2014. That’s 40 percent higher than it was before the 2008 Great Recession,” Assembly Democrats said in a release today. “The current take home pay for a full time minimum wage worker in New Jersey is $17,430.40 a year.”
Democrats used those figures to introduce legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Senate Economic Growth Committee Chairman Senator Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union) join New Jersey Working Families Alliance and a coalition of other groups at a news conference in which they call for increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“The legislation to increase the state minimum wage to $15 is part of the Speaker’s ongoing effort to have the General Assembly focus on ways to lift New Jersey residents out of poverty, rebuild the middle-class and make New Jersey more affordable,” they said.
They also admitted that the measure would fail help those earning $15 per hour achieve basic financial stability by $4.73 per hour.
“According to a United Way report on financial need in New Jersey, a single New Jerseyan with no children would need to earn $13.78 just to afford essential needs like food and shelter, and $19.73 to achieve basic economic stability,” they said.