By Sam Fiocchi | The Save Jersey Blog
I felt compelled to comment on the Trenton Democrats plan to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour here in New Jersey. As a business owner and job creator in South Jersey for nearly four decades, me, my brother and my nephews have found that operating our family business became more and more difficult with each passing year, and sustaining profitability more challenging.
Respectfully, Democrat leaders Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald do not have a clue what it takes to operate and grow a business. They don’t have a clue about making sure your bills are paid and your employees can make a living wage (coincidentally, we always paid entry level employees above state mandated minimum wage). Little wonder that New Jersey is at the top of all the wrong lists when it comes to supporting the business community and growing the economy in NJ.
It’s no secret that businesses and residents are leaving the state NJ at an alarming rate, and not just to southern states or overseas, but moving right next door to our neighboring states of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. Those states are welcoming business owners with open arms and policies that support and help businesses grow, the REAL job creators. I recently returned from a trip to Florida and could not turn on the TV without seeing commercials about incentives that the State of New York was offering businesses to relocate into their state. If New Jersey ran those commercials, any out-of-state business owner with some sense would have to contain their laughter.
What is even more unfortunate is that the Democrats will do their usual “end run” and not bring this minimum wage issue up for a typical vote in Trenton, but rather put this on a ballot referendum to bypass the Governor’s office and his likely veto. That’s why now is the time for the Democrat legislators in the First District to offer more than their token opposition with press releases and Facebook posts, and then complain they were out-voted. If Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land truly opposed this ridiculous new expense being forced down the throats of business owners, they need to convince other members of their own Democratic caucus to oppose it.
There are now 28 members of the General Assembly in the Republican caucus, all of which will likely vote against the minimum wage increase. If you add Mr. Andrzejczak and Mr. Land, that brings the total to 30 “no” votes. That means our two Democrats need to persuade only 11 of the remaining 50 Democrats to join them to stop this job-killing proposal. Will they accept the challenge, or will they again refuse to take on the leadership of their own party and prove themselves ineffectual pawns in a game they aren’t qualified to play?
As an Assemblyman, I fought this battle daily because without the strength of our private sector businesses, where will the tax revenues come from? Take a look in the mirror, and you’re looking at him or her.