On December 3, 2012, a bill (A2162) was sent to Governor Chris Christie seeking to increase the New Jersey minimum wage rate from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour effective on March 1, 2013. The bill also calls for automatic future annual adjustments linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If enacted, New Jersey would have the third highest state minimum wage rate in the country. (See the June 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority for prior discussion of the bill.)
If Governor Christie vetoes the bill, the New Jersey Legislature reportedly will move forward with a constitutional amendment (SCR1/ACR168) to increase the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour. By taking that approach, SCR1/ACR168 would bypass the Governor, but would need to pass in both houses of the Legislature (by either a three-fifths vote, or a majority vote two years in a row) and would have to be approved by New Jersey voters on the ballot in the November 2013 election. To date, SCR1 passed in the Senate (by just under a three-fifths majority), and ACR168 was approved by the Assembly Labor Committee.