While substantive legislation was far from the main focus of today’s voting sessions at the New Jersey State Capitol, the Senate and Assembly did in fact pass a number of bills, among them an Assembly bill that would raise poll worker pay from $200 to $300.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblymembers Robert Karabinchak (D-Edison), Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff), and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), was previously passed by the Senate in June. Votes in both houses were unanimous.
The legislation will now go back to the Senate for concurrence before reaching the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy, who is likely to sign it. In October, Murphy issued a separate executive order temporarily raising poll worker pay from $200 to $300 for the 2021 elections, alongside other election worker-related changes.
Shortly after the bill was passed today, its two Assembly cosponsors issued a joint statement praising election workers for their hard work and applauding their soon-to-be increased pay.
“We want to ensure that workers are receiving the proper pay for the rigorous work they do,” they wrote. “This measure will allow us to hire more poll workers and keep our elections more efficient with no added cost to our counties.”
Rooney separately said that poll workers were “important to the integrity of our elections.”
“We need to attract good people with competitive wages,” Rooney stated. “Addressing their pay through legislation, rather than executive order, ensures a permanent higher pay rate is in place for future elections and allows counties to recruit workers with the promise of better compensation.”
This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. on December 3 with a correction; having passed the Assembly, the bill will now go back to the Senate for concurrence, not directly to the governor.