New Jersey governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would’ve hiked the state’s minimum wage to $15.
The New York Times reports Gov. Christie spoke at a grocery store yesterday to defend the veto, calling the proposed $15 minimum a "really radical increase" that "would trigger an escalation of wages that will make doing business in New Jersey unaffordable."
The bill, put forth by state Democrats back in February, would have gradually increased the minimum wage from the current $8.38 to $15.10 over the next five years. New Jersey would have been just the third state behind New York and California to institute such a raise (the city of Seattle has also approved a $15 minimum wage).
State Democrats previously said that if Christie were to veto the bill, they would put the measure on the fall 2017 ballot for voters to decide — though even if approved, that would still put New Jersey significantly behind its neighboring state of New York. As the Times points out, "by 2018, those workers on the Manhattan side of the Hudson could be earning $6 an hour more than their peers on the New Jersey side."
While the Fight for $15 is still going strong across the country, many business owners, fast-food franchisees, and politicians continue to rally against a $15 minimum wage, with some even filing lawsuits in New York and Seattle in an attempt to stop it. Opponents claim that such a large wage increase will hurt businesses, while supporters argue that it’s impossible for fast food employees and other minimum wage earners to make a living at current wage standards.
• Christie Vetoes Minimum Wage Bill, Calling Raise to $15 ‘Really Radical’ [NYT]
• Will New Jersey Be the Next State With a $15 Minimum Wage? [E]
• All Minimum Wage Coverage [E]