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Chris Christie shoots down attempt to raise minimum wage to $15 in NJ

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Fourth Estate Staff

Pennington, NJ, United States (4E) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the attempt to raise the state’s minimum wage to at least $15.

The attempt is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by next year and to at least $15 in the next five years. The Republican governor announced his veto at an event in Pennington on Tuesday saying that it would hurt small businesses. The last time that voters approved increasing the wage was in 2013. The wage during that time falls at $7.25 per hour and has been increased to $8.25.

Christie added, “All of this sounds great, raising the minimum wage, when you’re spending someone else’s money.”

Democratic leaders, who control the statehouse, promised that they will pursue a constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage. That way, they will no longer need Christie’s approval over the matter.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement that they will let voters decide on the matter. However, it will no longer be placed in this year’s ballot during the November general elections so it is possible that voters will have a say on increasing the minimum wage by next year.

Despite the many supporters of increasing the minimum wage in the next year and the next succeeding five years, some oppose it and threatened to cut more hours if the minimum wage is raised. Mike Rothwell , the owner of the market where Christie announced vetoing the legislation, said that he currently employs 160 people. Of the 160, 45 work full-time while 115 work part-time. He said that he cut hours when the 2013 minimum wage increase took place and he would have to cut hours again if there will be an increase soon.

New York and California are the first two states who have passed the legislation about the minimum wage being increased to $15.

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