January 31, 2013
A quarter? Really? That's all Gov. Christie has offered the working poor: a 25-cent-an-hour increase in New Jersey's minimum wage, followed by three more quarters over three years, eventually raising the rate from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour. That's chump change for people who haven't had a raise since 2005. The cost of living in New Jersey is 27.6 percent higher than the national average, according to a 2008 report by the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission. But the Garden State is not one of the 19 states where the minimum wage exceeds the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.
January 29, 2013 |
TRENTON - Voters will likely decide this fall whether to raise the state minimum wage after Gov. Christie rejected a bill that would have bumped the rate to $8.50 within weeks. In an alternate proposal that accompanied his conditional veto, Christie said Monday that he was willing to raise the hourly wage by $1, but only if it's phased in over two years. That would increase the current rate of $7.25, the federally mandated minimum, to $8.25 by March 2015. The Democratic bill, which would have increased the rate $1.25 on March 1 and allowed automatic cost-of-living adjustments thereafter would "jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek," he said.
January 29, 2013 |
TRENTON - Voters will likely decide this fall whether to raise the state minimum wage after Gov. Christie rejected a bill that would have bumped the rate to $8.50 within weeks. In an alternate proposal that accompanied his conditional veto, Christie said Monday that he was willing to raise the hourly wage by $1, but only if it was phased in over two years. That would increase the current rate of $7.25, the federally mandated minimum, to $8.25 by March 2015. The Democratic bill, which would have increased the rate by $1.25 on March 1 and would have allowed automatic cost-of-living adjustments thereafter, would "jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek," he said.
January 25, 2013
I LISTEN to presidential speeches with an ear to the parts about personal finance. In President Obama's second inaugural address, he made a few interesting points. The first came when he said, "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. " I immediately wondered: Do we as a nation really understand this? I don't think so. If we did, I wouldn't receive numerous emails from people criticizing programs that help those who fell into the housing sinkhole.
January 24, 2013
Ten states, including Florida, Colorado, Montana, and Vermont, earlier this month raised their minimum wages above the unlivable level of $7.25 an hour that workers in New Jersey now receive. Gov. Christie should take the opportunity to help more than 300,000 struggling workers in New Jersey by signing a bill passed by the Legislature that would bring the state's minimum wage up to $8.50 an hour and allow for additional cost-of-living increases in the future. Christie has until Monday to sign the bill and show state residents that the depth of his compassion can reach down to those hard-working New Jerseyans who are patching multiple jobs together and often standing in line for long periods at food banks to make ends meet.
January 22, 2013
By Dedrick Muhammad Sr. Monday's inauguration of President Obama was laced with symbolism embracing the legacy of the civil rights movement. As the ceremonies coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Obama selected Myrlie Evers-Williams, a former chairwoman of the NAACP and the widow of slain NAACP activist Medgar Evers, to deliver the inaugural invocation. The president also used a Bible owned by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his swearing-in. But while the president has adopted the symbolism of civil rights, these difficult times also require a substantive pursuit of the social and economic agenda of the movement.
January 2, 2013 |
I'm able to reveal the history of the future, thanks to an app downloaded unto me when I graduated from Columnist College. Use of this power is restricted to emergencies, but a deadline for an end-of-year column qualifies. So, unlike the speculative sort of look-aheads available elsewhere, my predictions are informed by hindsight. The top New Jersey story of 2013 was that Chris Christie, as the governor, seeking reelection, managed to retain new BFF Bruce Springsteen after yet another eleventh-hour photo op with Barack Obama.
December 28, 2012
By Karen Kulp One year ago, I was among the home-care workers, providers, and consumers who stood with President Obama when he proposed a regulation that would guarantee, at long last, that home-care workers receive minimum-wage and overtime protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The Department of Labor received 26,000 comments on the rule, 80 percent of them favorable. Unfortunately, though, the regulatory process has dragged on, and the nation's two million home-care workers are still not fully protected by labor laws.
December 16, 2012 |
The U.S. Labor Department has sanctioned several Los Angeles garment contractors for sweatshop conditions while making wares for Urban Outfitters Inc., Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp., Forever 21 Inc., the company that owns T.J. Maxx and Marshall's (TJX Cos Inc.), and others. In a sweep of a single building in the city's fashion district, Wage and Hour Division investigators found 10 garment contractors had violated minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping laws, such as paying workers less than the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25, and California's $8 minimum wage, the agency said.
December 14, 2012
Consequences of DJs' prank With all the regrets being expressed by the Australian radio station and Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the DJs whose hoax was followed by the death of a nurse who relayed their prank call to a London hospital about Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, there is a very important point being missed ("Prank DJs' show is axed," Tuesday). The call was conceived by the DJs and approved by the station, with the self-centered goals of building reputations. If the call was successful and put through, it was certain to get hospital employees in trouble.