If you’ve been around as long as I have you’ll notice that January 1 is usually just a replay of all the January 1sts in the past here in New Jersey. New year new laws. It’s like Groundhog Day. Actually, Groundhog year. Welcome to 2020 in New Jersey where, with Phil Murphy as governor, we can look forward to nonsense laws being passed that do nothing to help us and only make people feel good.

Here are a couple new laws that took affect on January 1. Of course you knew this was coming, and it’s so maddening and the worst of it is yet to come. New Jersey minimum wage increased from $10 to $11-an-hour on Wednesday. It will then increase by $1-an-hour every January 1st until it reaches $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2024.

The law slightly differs for seasonal workers and employees at businesses of five workers or less. There, the base minimum wage went from $8.85 an hour to $10.30 an hour. This is bad news for NJ and yet another sign that New Jersey does not care about business owners.

Another law that took effect January 1 is one that prevents employers from asking about workers' wage and salary histories. Whattt? How can this be legal?? Supposedly, this law is meant to combat “gender inequality” and promote “equal pay for women” in New Jersey, which the amazingly clueless Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver called a "discriminatory practice."

I have a lot to say about how fallacious either of those issues are but that’s not the point of this post. The point is, once again business owners in New Jersey are being punished just for the fact that they’ve decided to go the non-socialist, liberty and prosperity route of being entrepreneurs. So much for the American dream. So much for our state motto.

Another new law that makes my skin crawl? More plastic bag bans. The new ones that take affect for the new year are in Asbury Park, Glen Rock, Paramus, Ridgewood, Saddle Brook and South Orange. Many towns give certain businesses the option of charging a fee for the bags, but once again, this is a waste of time and miss guided. I would’ve liked to believe that maybe we were off to a fresh start here in New Jersey in 2020, but it seems to be like it always is here: Same crap, different year.

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