Jan 28 New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris
Christie on Monday conditionally vetoed legislation that would
increase the state's minimum wage to $8.50 per hour from $7.25
and tie it to the consumer price index.
Instead, Christie proposed a smaller rate increase to be
phased in over three years, without linking future wage hikes to
the index. Democratic leaders vowed to send their proposal to
voters in November elections.
Calling the bill "lopsided," Christie said in his veto
letter to the state's Democrat-led legislature that its wage
hike would doom small businesses.
"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," he wrote.
Christie sent the bill back to lawmakers, suggesting a $0.25
per hour increase immediately, with an increase next year of
$0.50 and a final raise of $0.25 in the third year.
He also said the legislation should include an increase to
the benefit amounts provided under the state's Earned Income Tax
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said in a statement that the
conditional veto was "unacceptable."
"Any proposal that lacks annual adjustments to ensure wages
keep pace with the economy is not a real solution," she said.
She said lawmakers have the simple majority of votes they
need to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide in
On Jan. 1, ten U.S. states increased their minimum wage
rates by between 10 and 35 percent. New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo earlier this month proposed an increase of the state's
minimum wage to $8.75 an hour from $7.25.