PENNINGTON BOROUGH  — Gov. Chris Christie has shot down an attempt to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in the next year and to at least $15 over the next five.

The Republican Christie announced his veto at an event at a market in Pennington Tuesday. He says that it would burden small businesses and described the proposal as the "heavy hand of government."

Democrats, who control the statehouse, and liberal groups have put the legislation at center of their agenda. The Legislature sent Christie the measure in June.

Democratic leaders have said they'll pursue a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage without the need for Christie's approval.

Voters last approved raising the wage in 2013, from $7.25 to $8.25.

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