Asm. Gary Schaer Working to Combat Wage Theft
Asm. Gary Schaer (D) – NJ discusses two pieces of legislation he sponsored designed to protect New Jersey workers. This legislation combats wage theft and upholds the long-standing laws to ensure fair practices within the construction industry.
"Assemblyman Gary Schaer is, in fact, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Budget Committee. Good to see you, Assemblyman. Nice to see you. Let me ask you. We're here at the Business & Industry Association event where everyone who matters in the state gathers to talk about business. Donald Trump and business in New Jersey 2017. You say good for the state? It's a large question. It impacts so many areas. One area of particular concern that I have is the President-elect and his interest to reduce taxes will, in fact, be reducing funds going to states, which will dramatically affect programs of the states, including those here in New Jersey regarding healthcare. Currently the state receives $6 billion from the Federal Government. If that is impacted by 10%, that would represent a $600-million loss. On a Federal level, we'd all be cheering and clapping, but those funds would then necessarily need to come from New Jersey itself. So it would be not quite a wash. So I think the jury is out. I admit that I did not vote for the President-elect. I wish him the best, but certainly from New Jersey's position and perspective, I have some concerns. By the way, we're taping at the end of 2016... the reference to the President-elect. He will be the President... Sorry, sir. No, not at all. We always disclose when, in fact, we're taping, Assemblyman. Assemblyman, let me ask you this. The $15 minimum wage, some of your colleagues on the Republican side talk about how bad it would be for business, how bad it would be for the state. You say? I say I think it would be phenomenal for the state. I say that one of the reasons why we were so excited about passage of the Transportation Trust Fund was because it was going to put dollars back into the New Jersey economy, and for every dollar spent, 4.6 dollars would have economic effect on the positive side. I think the same holds true in terms of the minimum wage besides the moral issues, the ethical issues, the inability to support one's family making, effectively, $17,000 a year when the Federal poverty level is at $24,000 a year. So you're already starting negative out of the box. I think the consideration, the passage of a $15 minimum wage would reinvigorate New Jersey's economy and would provide and allow people to live lives that have meaning and purpose. Right now if your biggest concern is whether you're going to put food on the table or pay your rent, that's not what we need for New Jersey. Assemblyman, you make reference to the Transportation Trust Fund. Put it in perspective for people from your vantage point..."