Battle looming between Christie and the Legislature on minimum wage

TRENTON – Senate lawmakers are preparing to send a minimum wage bill to the desk of Gov. Chris Christie later this week.

Among the list of nearly 30 bills and resolutions slated to be voted on by the Senate Thursday is the Legislature’s proposal to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage. The proposed bill, which is expected to clear the Senate chambers, would then go to the governor’s desk for consideration.

The proposal, S3, calls for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and link future increases to the annual cost of living.

Christie has said publically that he would work with lawmakers on an increase proposal, but has been critical of any plan that would allow for  automatic increases.

The latter has been a point of contention with Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has been vocal about passing a proposal that would prevent the Legislature from having to take the subject up and fight for an increase every couple of years, he said.

Despite the governor’s opposition to automatic annual increases, Sweeney has so far pushed to get such a proposal through and has sought an amendment to the state’s constitution to do so if the governor would veto the bill.

SCR1 would ask residents to amend the state’s constitution to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage and also provide for the automatic increase. The proposal is also slated to be voted on by lawmakers Thursday and has the potential to put the question on the ballot in 2013.

Battle looming between Christie and the Legislature on minimum wage