After a months-long stalemate over ways to raise the state's minimum wage, Senate Democrats have agreed to put forward an Assembly-approved bill that would boost the wage to $8.50 from $7.25 and include annual cost-of-living increases.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) held back on the Assembly bill, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D., Essex), after Gov. Christie indicated that he did not support indexing the minimum wage to changes in cost of living.
Sweeney said he did not want to raise the wage without including a provision that would regularly raise the wage to keep up with inflation. He called for a constitutional amendment that would let the Democratic-controlled Legislature circumvent the Republican governor and put the question before voters in November 2013.