Do You Want to Hike NJ’s Minimum Wage? [AUDIO]
The Democrat running against Gov. Chris Christie and the leader of the State Senate are joining with a band of labor leaders and activists to urge New Jersey voters to support a November ballot question, which asks if you’d like to amend the constitution to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25.
The measure would have the hike adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
“There is a certain sense of dignity that comes from being able to provide for your family,” says Sen. Barbra Buono who is challenging Christie in November. “By vetoing the minimum wage, this governor has in essence vetoed the hopes and promises a better quality of life for a quarter of a million women in New Jersey.”
The original minimum wage increase bill was vetoed by Christie who objected to the annual adjustments. He countered with a proposal to hike the wage by one dollar over three years.
“When you give the working poor a little more money they actually spend it,” says Sen. President Steve Sweeney. “It actually gets back into the businesses and the communities……We can’t wait for elected officials to get a conscience and say, ‘When is the last time we did the minimum wage?’ It’s not fair and it’s not right.”
Garden State business leaders warn of very bad things to come if voters approve a ballot question this November that would amend the constitution to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 and then adjust it annually based on the rate of inflation.
Citing a recent study they say as many as 31,000 jobs could be lost in New Jersey in the next decade.
“The difference between this initiative and previous increases is that it raises the cost of labor every year forever regardless of business conditions,” says National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), New Jersey director Laurie Ehlbeck. “The bottom line is that New Jersey will have many fewer jobs and a smaller economy if this Constitutional Amendment passes.”