This past week, New Jersey’s Governor Christopher Christie vetoed a new minimum wage bill (A2162) that had been previously passed by the State’s Legislature. This legislation had proposed increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $8.50/hour, and linking future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), which measures changes in price levels of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The Democratic-controlled Legislature believed that tying future increases to the CPI would more accurately reflect the value of the State’s minimum wage and largely eliminate politics from the equation. Instead, Governor Christie vetoed the bill and proposed an increase to the current minimum wage by $0.25 this year, $0.50 in 2014, and another $0.25 in 2015, in order to lessen the immediate burden on businesses.
Both the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly, however, also passed resolution SCR1. This resolution, scheduled to be voted on by voters next year, will allow the State’s residents to decide on an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution that would raise the minimum wage to $8.25/hour and provide for future increases based upon the CPI.