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Voters Could Decide to Raise N.J. Minimum Wage – Would You Raise It? [POLL]

NJ Assembly Democrats Facebook
NJ Assembly Democrats Facebook

Another poll has just been released concerning raising the minimum wage here in NJ.

According to this:

A strong majority of New Jerseyans wants to raise the state’s minimum wage and lock in automatic cost-of-living increases, according to The Inquirer New Jersey poll, which interviewed 604 likely voters earlier this month.

But the public, like its representatives in Trenton, is divided over the best way to ensure the rate keeps pace with inflation.

Of those who responded, 76 percent supported increasing the hourly wage to $8.25 from $7.25, and tying the new wage to the consumer price index, which measures changes in inflation. South Jersey voters supported boosting the wage, 77 percent to 17 percent.

The proposal won bipartisan support, with 87 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans, and 75 percent of unaffiliated voters favoring it, according to the poll.

You’ve heard all the arguments back and forth as to how raising the minimum wage would stifle job growth, add to increased unemployment and the like.

And now the conversation is getting amped up a notch or two because, according to this:

Gov. Chris Christie today said he would not support Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plan to raise the minimum wage through an amendment to the state Constitution.

“That is just a stupid way to do it,” he said at a news conference at a school groundbreaking. “That’s not what the Constitution is there for. They control the Legislature. They want to raise the minimum wage, send me a bill and see what I’ll do with it.”

Sweeney today is expected to introduce a resolution that would let voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour and tie future annual increases to the Consumer Price Index, the Associated Press reports. Assembly Democrats passed a similar bill in May, but it stalled in the Senate.

The Republican governor has promised to veto a bill that calls for automatic increases every year, but has not said whether he would sign a bill that simply raises the rate.

He said he would consider raising minimum wage “but it has to be in the context of a number of other economic development and growth measures.” Sweeney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Side note on the Governor’s take on using the referendum: He has a problem with Democrats’ use of the referendum on whether or not to raise the minimum wage; but had no problem with using the ballot initiative on whether or not to allow same sex marriage! Hmmmm!)

Anyway, I believe the findings of the poll bear out what I’ve believed all along.

That is, that if left up to voters, my guess would be most would vote to raise the current minimum.

Why?

I believe it has less to do with understanding the cumulative effects of raising the minimum wage on businesses, and more to do with how voters perceive their own financial status.

My feeling is that many, if not most, are not believing in the “Jersey Comeback”…no matter how many times you hear it. Were this to be a ballot item in next year’s election; it’s just possible that the vicarious feelings I think the average Jersey wage earner have for the minimum wage earner would be enough to push voters to vote “yes” to a minimum wage hike.

What say you?


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