Legislation to increase New Jersey's hourly minimum wage to $8.50 and require the rate to then be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index was approved this afternoon by the Assembly Labor Committee by a vote of 6-2-1. The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver sponsors the bill,  A-2162. She says, “This is economic stimulus and a recognition that thousands of households in New Jersey are struggling to subsist on minimum wage jobs that do not allow them to support their families,. This is about livable wages for the lowest-income earners. Quite simply, we should all support economic stimulus, increased consumer spending and livable wages.”

Listen to Kevin McArdle's report


Under the measure, New Jersey's hourly minimum wage rate to $8.50 on July 1, 2012 and then requires that, starting in calendar year 2013, the minimum wage be adjusted annually based on any increase in the Consumer Price Index, with the adjustment taking effect on July 1 of each year.

Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie was asked about the bill and said, "There's some things about the issue that give me concern, about its potential for having people lose jobs or reduce hours, there's other things about it that make me think maybe it's time to raise it…My mind is not set on the issue. I'm willing to be persuaded about it."

Video by Dino Flammia