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"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

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Kicking off 2024 with a Great Raise!

As of 2024, the set minimum wage in New Jersey has risen from $14.13 to $15.13!
Aiden Perez Alcalde
London Sreepada, a senior at Wayne Hills who makes under minimum wage

Many people have heard the classic saying “money makes the world go round”, which makes sense since money is something that makes up everyone’s world due to how important it is. With that, a minimum wage has been set so that everyone who works has a better chance at survival with their job. However, the cost of living has been going up while minimum wage hasn’t, so minimum wage isn’t cutting it for anyone at this point.

That’s why as of January 1, 2024, minimum wage has increased from $14.13 to $15.13 in the state of New Jersey to show that they actually value the workforce. Minimum wage has been steadily increasing since 2019, and it is all because of a protest done in 2017. Here, many union and non-union workers gathered at Newark City Hall to demand a minimum wage of $15, and finally because of them we have it.

A law was signed back in 2019 by Phil Murphy, which would allow for the minimum wage to increase annually. Because of this, New jersey has become one of very few states to have a set minimum wage above 15 dollars, which shows that our state government is actually listening to us and values us. In 2023, the Raise the Wage act was started, and their goal is to have minimum wage raised to $18 more by 2028, since the rise in minimum wage would allow combat against inflation.

Another reason this law was  signed was because of inflation, considering in the past 2 years there was a historic rise in inflation. According to Phil Murphy, our New Jersey governor, said,” There is no doubt that inflation has had an impact on every New Jerseyan. Now that we are close to surpassing the $15 per hour milestone, it’s important that we continue to ensure that everyone working in New Jersey has access to a livable wage”.

Students here at Wayne Hills have jobs, so here is their opinions about the minimum wage raise in 2024:

“I think that the extra dollar will benefit some, but most people will still be living paycheck to paycheck,” said London Sreepada, a senior here at Wayne Hills and an employee at Hometown Creamery.

“I think the minimum wage increase could go both ways, because while it’s nice to have more money, the downside is that when minimum wage goes up, the cost of living also goes up,” said Sarah Bollinger, a junior.

The current $15 an hour, while still very minuscule to the world and lackluster to really survive, is still a massive step in the right direction. Because of this, the possibility of having better living conditions for the underclass grows, and so many more lives can continue to be benefitted.

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