The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour Monday, setting up a potential showdown with Gov. Chris Christie over whether the increase will spur the state’s economy or kill jobs.
The bill, which includes an annual automatic increase tied to inflation, now heads to the full Democratic-controlled Senate for a vote, where it's expected to pass, according to the Bergen County Record
Christie has threatened to veto the measure in the past because he disagrees with the automatic increase provision.
Democratic Senate President Steven Sweeney served notice that if Christie moves to veto the bill, he'll take it to the voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.
"I want to make extremely clear: This bill is going to be voted on in the Senate and put on the governor’s desk,” he said. “There are very few things I’m not willing to compromise on. This is one of them.”
The New Jersey wage is currently $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. If the bill stands, the state would become the 19th in the nation to have a higher minimum wage than the federal standard.
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