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Christie vetoes $15 an hour minimum wage bill pushed by N.J. Democrats

Wednesday, August 31, 2016   (0 Comments)
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NJ.com 08/31/16

Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday vetoed a proposal to boost New Jersey's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Christie argued more employees would be replaced by automated kiosks at small businesses if the state hikes its minimum wage. "That's the way of the future if we continue to do this really radical increase with the minimum wage," Christie said. "All of this sounds great, raising the minimum wage, when you're spending someone else's money," he said. "It should bother you because when you come into Pennington Quality Market your food is going to be more expensive."

The measure sought to raise the minimum wage from $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017, and then by more than $1.25 an hour until 2021. After 2021, the minimum wage would increase annually based on changes in the consumer price index. "This type of heavy hand of government, to say that we know better than the people who actually run these businesses, is the reason why in past administrations New Jersey has gotten less and less affordable," he said. New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal Trenton think tank, criticized the governor for having "failed to take advantage of a great opportunity to give nearly 1 million New Jersey workers a raise," said Jon Whiten, vice president of NJPP.

NJPP has estimated 975,000 people would benefit from the wage hike. workers and worker advocates said the measure was needed because many workers have trouble trying to get by on the minimum wage in such a high-cost state. The annual take-home pay for a full-time worker earning the minimum wage in New Jersey is about $17,430. The United Way of Northern New Jersey has estimated a single adult in New Jersey would need to earn $13.78 an hour to meet his or her basic needs, and $19.73 per hour for "better food and shelter, plus modest savings."


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