Murphy renews call for $15 minimum wage bill this year

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Phil Murphy is renewing his call for the Legislature to pass a $15 per hour minimum wage plan before the end of the year.

Speaking at an event Monday, the Democrat said he's ready and waiting to sign a bill once one reaches his desk.

New Jersey's minimum wage is going up a quarter per hour to $8.85 on Jan. 1, part of a mandate under the state constitution to keep pace with inflation.

But Murphy says that's not nearly enough to help New Jersey's working poor.

In separate statements released Monday, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney expressed support for a $15-per-hour plan, though neither pledged to reach deal before the holiday recess.