Minimum wage constitutional amendment resolution advances

TRENTON – The Assembly Labor Committee released – 6-2-1 with Ron Dancer abstaining – the constitutional amendment resolution to increase the minimum wage as Democrats press forward with this issue.

ACR168/SCR1 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, would set a minimum wage at $8.25 per hour, and provide annual cost of living increases based on increases in the consumer price index. 

The cost of living increases would be added to the initial rate and any subsequent increases in the minimum wage rate made by law. 

Also, if the federal minimum wage rate is raised above the state rate, the state rate would be raised to match the federal rate.  Future cost of living increases then would be added to that rate. 

Democrats also have advanced a bill that would hike the wage to $8.50, but Senate President Steve Sweeney – a possible gubernatorial candidate – has said that if Gov. Chris Christie vetoes it, then they will pursue the amendment to the Constitution.

Supporting testimony today came from witnesses who previously appeared before the Senate committee on the matter, laborers who described the difficulty of getting by on a minimum wage in this state.

Likewise, the opposition from business groups reiterated previous testimony that the hike will jeopardize already-struggling businesses.

The committee also released:

A3359: This bill, released unanimously, requires any contractor or subcontractor who registers to contract for public work to demonstrate that it is a responsible bidder by complying with all of the requirements of the law. The bill mandates a contractor submit certification that the contractor or subcontractor, among other things, has all valid and effective licenses; has not been debarred in the past three years; and has not had any type of business, contracting or trade license, registration or other certificate suspended or revoked in the past year.

Sponsor Assemblyman Troy Singleton indicated the bill takes on added significance as the state rebuilds after super storm Sandy.

Minimum wage constitutional amendment resolution advances