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Gov. Phil Murphy, left, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, center, and Senate President Steve Sweeney. New Jersey Globe Photo.

No vote this year on minimum wage, weed

Murphy, Sweeney, Coughlin meet, make ‘significant progress’

By David Wildstein, December 13 2018 4:20 pm

The New Jersey State Assembly will not vote on raising the minimum wage or the legalization of marijuana on Monday, according to an Assembly source with knowledge of the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Since next week is the final Assembly voting session for the year, any consideration of the $15 per hour minimum wage or legalized weed will be pushed off until next year.

Gov. Phil Murphy spent nearly two hours in a “cordial” private meeting with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin today.  It’s the first time the three have spoken in about two months.

Sources from both sides confirm that significant progress was made on minimum wage.  One source said Murphy and the legislative leaders are close, but negotiations are still not complete.

The three Democrats continued their dialogue on marijuana, but they are not ready to move any proposal forward.

There is no agreement between Murphy and the Legislature on a proposed constitutional amendment to change the way New Jersey legislative districts are drawn.

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2 thoughts on “No vote this year on minimum wage, weed

  1. What would be better than raising the minimum wage by $X/week? A punitive “vacancy tax” on vacant land and unoccupied buildings, which property owners are so keen to avoid that it *reduces rents* by $X/week. Why would this be better? Because:
    (1) When you allow for income tax (and withdrawal of welfare, if applicable), a dollar *saved* is worth much more than a dollar *earned*.
    (2) By definition, the benefit of lower rents, unlike the benefit of higher wages, isn’t competed away in higher rents. Indeed, if landlords hear that wages have risen by $X/week, they might try to raise rents by the whole $X/week, not allowing for the Effective Marginal Tax Rate.
    (3) Nobody says lower rents would price workers out of a job! On the contrary, the scramble to avoid the vacancy tax would *create* jobs; and lower rents by themselves would create jobs, because jobs can’t exist unless (a) the employers can afford business accommodation, and (b) the employees can afford housing within reach of their jobs, on wages that the employers can pay. (Note the implication that the tax should apply to both commercial and residential property.)
    (4) Why should employers pay for a problem caused by deadbeat landowners?
    (5) The economic activity driven by a vacancy tax would broaden the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of us would pay less tax.

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