N.J. voters to decide on raising wage

Posted: February 16, 2013

TRENTON - New Jersey voters will get the last word on whether to increase the state's minimum wage $1 to $8.25.

The Assembly gave final approval Thursday to a resolution putting the increase on the ballot in November and tying automatic annual adjustments to the Consumer Price Index. The Senate approved the resolution previously, so Thursday's vote ensured the question's place on the ballot in a gubernatorial election year.

Gov. Christie vetoed legislation last month that would have increased the wage to $8.50 per hour and provided automatic yearly increases.

New Jersey is among more than 20 states with a minimum wage of $7.25, the same as the federal minimum wage. In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama proposed raising the federal rate to $9 per hour and allowing for inflation increases.

Most states set a minimum wage. Washington has the highest at $9.19 per hour; Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest, $5.15, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Jersey's Democratic-led Legislature has not advanced the governor's counterproposal to raise the wage by $1 per hour phased in over three years and delete the provision for automatic adjustments.

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