June 29, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey state legislature approved a bill June 23 that would raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2021, but Gov. Chris Christie is almost certain to veto it.
The bill, passed by the Assembly in May, made it through the Senate by a 21-18 margin. It would increase the minimum from the current $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, and then bring it up to $15.10 in annual steps of $1.25. Asked by reporters whether he would sign the bill, Christie sent out a transcript of an April speech to the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in which he called the $15 minimum “just insane” and “garbage” dreamed up by “some nudnik in California.” If the governor vetoes the bill, Democrats in the legislature say they will put a minimum-wage amendment on the state ballot next year, as they did in 2013 after he vetoed a previous increase. “Gov. Christie must sign this bill, but if he again fails New Jersey's working class, we again stand ready to take this issue to the voters,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said in a statement. Read more