Calabrese on $15 Minimum Wage: ‘This Issue is Not New to Me’

At a roundtable moderated this morning by Governor Phil Murphy, Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36) of Wood-Ridge and newly minted Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-36) of Cliffside Park backed away from making a direct statement of endorsement of the Governor’s $15 minimum wage proposal.

“You never wavered,” Sarlo told the Governor, where the two of them sat on the dais in Passaic City Council chambers. “You put a number out there and you stuck with it all the way through. It’s very easy for those in elected office to waver.”

“Thank you,” Murphy told Sarlo.

“As the budget chairman, I look forward to working with you as to how we get there to strike that right delicate balance,” Sarlo said.

Later in the conversation, Murphy beckoned Calabrese, newly sworn in to office, to make a statement.

“This issue is not new to me,” said Calabrese. “I’ve read about it many times before. I know other states are going through the same issues. Personally, I need to further educate myself on what the benefits are going to be. But I need to listen to the benefits. I need to listen to all your stories, and also to other business owners’ stories. But I think it’s a good head start and we’re going in the right direction, and that’s really all I can say on this topic right now.”

To see the exchange, please go here.

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