Assembly Speaker Oliver calls for minimum wage increase

METUCHEN - Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver (D-N.J.) is calling for the minimum wage to be increased by $1.25, bringing it up to $8.50 from the current $7.25 an hour.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25. States can pay more but cannot pay less.

Not everyone thinks that raising the minimum wage in New Jersey would be a good idea. Stefanie Riehl, of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, says, "What you may find if the minimum wage were to get increased, is that you may find there would be reductions in other areas, whether it would be hours or benefits."

Right now, 18 states have higher minimum wages than New Jersey. If Oliver's plan is approved, and the wage is raised to $8.50, only two states would pay more, Washington and Oregon.

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