NJ Senate To Vote On Minimum Wage Hike

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. November 28, 2012

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Senate President Steve Sweeney (photo by Phil Gregory)

The New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a bill to boost the minimum wage.

Passed by the Assembly in May, the measure would increase base pay to $8.50 an hour and provide automatic annual increases based on the consumer price index.

Governor Chris Christie says he’s willing to consider a responsible minimum wage package, but he has concerns about the legislation.

“We’ve got thousands of businesses wiped out and is this really now the moment to say to those folks we’re going to hit you with a $1.25 increase on March 1st and a CPI beyond that?”

Senate President Steve Sweeney rejects that argument.

 “We are dealing with the storm. We’re going to deal with the storm for several years. He said it’s going to take three to five years to get the state back up and running. So we’re not going to raise the minimum wage for three to five years because of the storm?  The minimum wage is actually going to help the economy not hurt the economy because when you give people money on the lower end of the scale they spend it.”

Democratic leaders in the legislature also plan to proceed with a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow voters to approve the minimum wage increase if the governor does not sign the bill.


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