May 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Senate Labor Committee on May 16 approved a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.
The measure is likely to pass both houses of the legislature, as both Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto have endorsed it, but Gov. Chris Christie is expected to veto it. Christie vetoed a minimum-wage increase in 2013, but voters then approved an amendment to the state constitution that raised it to $8.25. “We recognize now that we need to go much further,” Sweeney said. The bill would raise the minimum from $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, with annual increases over the next four years bringing it up to $15. If Christie vetoes it, Democrats will try to put a minimum-wage increase on the ballot in next year’s gubernatorial election. The committee also approved a bill that would make workers on strike eligible for unemployment benefits. Read more