Christie Conditionally Vetoes Minimum Wage Bill
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 28, 2013
Governor Chris Christie has conditionally vetoed a bill that would have raised New Jersey’s minimum wage by $1.25 an hour and provided for annual increases based on inflation.
Christie is proposing an alternate plan to boost the base pay by a dollar over three years and couple it with a 25 percent increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax credit.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver opposes tying those increases together. She says the Democratic majority in the legislature will move forward with a constitutional amendment to let voters decide on a minimum wage hike.
“We will during the month of February vote a second time to put this on the ballot in November. It will be our original legislation, $8.25 an hour with a consumer price index built in.”
Stefanie Riehl with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says the governor’s alternative proposal is a reasonable compromise that's better for business.
“They will be able to now budget, and they will have some predictability with knowing when an increase is going to come as opposed to having it tied to an economic indicator.”
Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick maintains Democrats want to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot for political reasons.
“As the polls come out and the governor becomes more and more popular and the Democrats fear a landslide by this governor that’s why I think they want to put something on the ballot to bring out more Democrats.”