On January 28, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill (A2162/S3) that would have increased New Jersey’s minimum wage rate from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour and provided for future annual adjustments tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Governor’s alternative proposal (increasing the minimum wage $0.25 per hour in the first year, $0.50 in the second year, and $0.25 in the third year) was rejected by the Assembly and Senate.
Previously, perhaps anticipating this veto, lawmakers proposed additional measures to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage. The Assembly and Senate have given final approval to SCR1/ACR168, resolutions that would allow voters to vote on a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour (with future adjustments tied to increases in the CPI and the federal minimum wage). SCR1/ACR168 passed both houses in 2012 and 2013, and will now be on the ballot in November of this year. Voters will be asked, “Do you approve amending the State Constitution to set a state minimum wage rate of at least $8.25 per hour? The amendment also requires annual increases in that rate if there are annual increases in the cost of living.”
On December 6, 2012, the Assembly introduced another bill (A3524), which would increase the minimum wage rate to $8.00 per hour and tie future adjustments to the decline in the state unemployment rate.