New Jersey becomes 4th state to approve $15 hourly wage

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a measure that raises the hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next five years.

The first-term Democrat signed the legislation Monday in Elizabeth alongside Democratic legislative leaders.

The bill raises the current $8.85 minimum wage to $10 an hour in July, and then increases the rate by $1 in subsequent years until it reaches $15 in 2024.

New Jersey becomes the fourth state, along with the District of Columbia, to enact a phased-in $15 minimum wage. California, Massachusetts and New York have adopted similar proposals.

Murphy promised to raise the rate as part of his campaign for governor.

Republicans and many businesses oppose the higher rate, saying it will raise costs.

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