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NJ Minimum Wage Hike Discussed In Closed-Door Meeting

Labor groups and Democratic leaders are meeting today in a closed-door session to discuss ways to drum up support from NJ voters ahead of a ballot question that focuses on minimum wage.

Sheila Oliver (NJ Assembly Democrats Facebook)

In a ballot question this November, New Jersey voters will be asked if they’d like to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 immediately and tie annual increases to the rate of inflation.

“Today we are having a meeting of a broad cross section of organization from one end of New Jersey to the other, approximately 60 organizations,” explains Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. “These are organizations that are committed to returning to their communities are regions of the state to begin to educate people about this question that will be on the ballot.”

Earlier this year, Governor Chris Christie refused to sign a bill which would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 and would’ve tied future increases to the rate of inflation every year. Instead, Christie conditionally vetoed the bill and offered what he calls a responsible compromise.

Christie’s conditional veto sought to reduce the size of the minimum wage increase by $0.25 to $8.25 per hour, introduce a 3-year phase-in, and eliminate altogether the provision for annual cost of living adjustments in future years.

The Democrat-controlled legislature rejected Christie’s idea and instead approved a measure to ask voters to decide the issue in November.

“We are going to work to gain momentum to get overwhelming support of the voters of New Jersey for the question,” explains Oliver.

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