No Republicans voted in favor of the bill in either chamber, and the measure narrowly cleared the Senate by a 23-16 vote.

Addiego was among the majority that voted in favor of the increase, but her vote was among the most scrutinized since it was among the first she cast after suddenly switching her party affiliation from the GOP to Democratic majority.

Afterward, Addiego said her biggest concern with the bill was the absence of a carve-out for teenage workers, similar to the longer phase-in for seasonal workers and small businesses. She feared that the mandatory wage hikes would prompt employers to forgo hiring inexperienced teens.

However, the senator said she opted to vote in favor of the measure after receiving assurances from Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3 of West Deptford, that he would help back legislation giving businesses that hire teenage workers a tax credit as reimbursement.

A similar credit was part of the minimum wage bill already and provides employers with tax credits if they hire or retain disabled workers at the higher minimum wage.

The bill caps the total amount of credits available for businesses that hire teens at $10 million each year until 2028, when the credits would sunset and no longer be available.

While the legislation failed to make it to Murphy’s desk during the last session, it was quickly posted for a hearing in front of the Senate Labor Committee last week, which voted 4-0 to advance it.

The measure next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to consider. If approved by that panel, it would be cleared for a floor vote by the full Senate. The Assembly must also approve the same bill before it can go to the governor for consideration

Original Article