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Sources: Dems meeting on cannabis, $15 minimum wage postponed

New Jersey’s top three elected officials will not be meeting on Thursday to discuss legalizing marijuana and a $15 minimum wage, NJBIZ has learned.

Gov. Phil Murphy; Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District; and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, tentatively planned to meet today, but it was postponed, according to three sources, all of whom requested anonymity.

Murphy, meanwhile, has not responded to the Legislature’s revisions to Coughlin’s proposed Assembly Bill 15, sent to the front office on Dec. 18, according to a legislative source.

A15 would increase the minimum wage from $8.85 to $15 an hour by 2024 for most workers, but farm workers, teenage and seasonal employees, and businesses with less than 10 staffers would not reach a $15 minimum wage until 2029.

Coughlin and Sweeney met with Murphy five days earlier on Dec. 13 for a closed-door meeting, after which the Legislature’s two top Democrats said they made significant progress with negotiations to increase the state’s minimum wage.

Murphy said he opposes both the carve-outs and the phase-in rates.

The hope now is that the meeting could be held later in the month, the sources said, but a new date is not clear. Thursday’s meeting would have been just days before Murphy holds his first State of the State address, on Jan. 15, to recap his first year in office.

An administration official cited a “scheduling conflict” as the reason for the postponement.

Pete Cammarano, the governor’s chief of staff, who plans to resign this month, will testify today before a legislative oversight committee examining the Murphy administration’s hiring practices and how the transition team responded to former campaign volunteer-Katie Brennan’s sexual assault allegations.

Daniel J. Munoz
Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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