New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Vetoes Increase in Minimum Wage

| by Michael Allen

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, which was passed by the state’s Democratic senate, reports

Governor Christie said he vetoed the bill because “the sudden, significant minimum-wage increase in this bill, coupled with automatic raises each year tied to the Unites States consumer price index, will jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek.”

Governor Christie said he would sign the bill if the increase was to $8.25 per hour and phased in over three years.  He also wants to get rid of a provision tying the wage increases to inflation rates.

According to a study by the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission,  the cost of living in New Jersey is 30 percent higher than the national average.

New Jersey Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes said in a statement: “Over 300,000 New Jerseyans — many of them working full time — have been dealt a cruel blow by the governor’s conditional veto of the minimum wage increase. Those working 40 hours each week and every week of the year would see their incomes rise from $15,080 to $15,600 a year in 2013.”

“The governor’s conditional veto proclaims that workers at the bottom of the wage scale can get by on no more than a 3 percent raise for the time being. What is worse than the paltry increase in the minimum wage is the elimination of the inflation adjuster going forward. The last increase to $7.25 an hour in 2005 now purchases $6.17 worth of necessities – a 15 percent pay cut. In fact, the first year increase proposed by the governor of 25 cents will be erased by inflation by the time the third year kicks in its 25 cents.”