So now that the Governor has delivered on his promise to reject the legislature’s proposal to hike the minimum wage to 8.50 on March 1st, the words of the 70’s disco group, the Trammps, come to mind.

“Where Do We Go From Here?”

According to our Kevin McArdle,

Governor Chris Christie today conditionally vetoed a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour and index it to rise automatically with the cost of living every year.

The conditional veto seeks 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.

“In these difficult times those most impacted by challenging economic conditions – our state’s working families – need assistance,” says Christie. “Instead of the lopsided approach taken by the Legislature, this plan delivers a responsible, balanced approach that increases the minimum wage by one dollar over a phase-in period of three years, while helping our working families with direct relief through an increase in our state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.”

Would a phase in over 3 years be acceptable to you?

It sounds prudent to me, given the soft economy and the added burden a jump to 8.50 right away could put on small business.

In other words, a half a loaf is better than none!

So given the conditional veto, the legislature is prepared to go the route they put out there some months back and introduce their proposal as a constitutional amendment to be placed on the November ballot.

According to this:

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, a sponsor of the rejected bill, called Christie’s action “unacceptable” and “callous.”

She said Democrats have no choice but to pursue a parallel plan to seek voter approval for the proposal in November.

Democrats argued that the current minimum wage is insufficient. The business community said employers can’t afford to pay more in a sluggish economy and layoffs would result.

Seeing is how the Democrats have little chance of winning back the Governor's seat in November, sounds like they want to make it a political hot potato.

Besides, I seem to recall the Governor referring to making the proposal a ballot item as “silly!”

If the proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to 8.50 with yearly increases tied to the Consumer Price Index were to be put to a vote before the people, how would you vote?

Take the poll below.