Christie questions whether now is best time to hike minimum wage

TRENTON – With a Senate vote scheduled for Thursday on raising the minimum wage by $1.25 and linking future hikes to the Consumer Price Index, Gov. Chris Christie said today that he would be willing to consider a “responsible” minimum wage package.

“No one has ever negotiated with me on minimum wage,’’ said Christie, echoing comments of Republican legislators who have said attempts to negotiate were rebuffed.

Christie, during a press conference today, asked whether  now is the time to increase the minimum wage when the state has suffered more than $30 billion in storm damages and thousands of businesses have been wiped out.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have said an increase from the state’s $7.25 minimum wage is years overdue, and the Democrat-controlled Legislature has taken a two-pronged approach: a bill to hike the wage to $8.50 and tie future hikes to the CPI, and a constitutional amendment that would go before voters.

Christie questions whether now is best time to hike minimum wage