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Minimum Wage Increase Could Go to Voters

The state Senate approved a 2013 referendum on raising the minimum wage and tying it to yearly increases

A proposal to raise the state's minimum wage could bypass Gov. Chris Christie and go directly to voters.

During Monday's Senate hearings, Senate President Steve Sweeney of Gloucester County received preliminary support for a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to allow for an increased minimum wage and tie future yearly increases to national economic data. The initiative would be placed on the 2013 ballot for voter approval.

Sweeney's proposal, which was approved by committee 7-6, would effectively remove Christie from the approval process. Christie had previously indicated he would not sign a bill that included automatic indexed adjustments, according to a report on nj.com.

“For years, New Jersey has assigned a dollar amount to the minimum wage that is woefully inadequate,” said Sweeney, in a press release. “In fact, it is a complete failure. According to a 2011 analysis by the Office of Legislative Services, among the 307,000 workers in New Jersey who earned among the lowest hourly wages, nearly half worked full-time and one-quarter were parents. Imagine trying to feed a family, pay the rent and keep gas in the car on less than $16,000 a year.”

Voters would have to decide if they would want to raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.25 per hour and allow future yearly increases to be tied to national economic data, called indexing.

The minimum wage in New Jersey has been the same as the federal minimum and 23 other states since 2010. A minimum wage earner who works 40 hours grosses $290 per week, according to a report by CBS. Senate Democrats have estimated that if the wage had been indexed annually since the state began statutorily setting the rate in 1968, New Jersey’s minimum wage today would be $9.20.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver introduced a bill in May that would raise the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour and include annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index. While her bill was approved in May by the full Assembly, it has not gone before the Senate for a vote.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Oliver told Bloomberg Businessweek of a higher minimum wage. “It’s why I continue to want to see the Assembly- approved bill sent to the governor so we can see what he decides and determine the next step.”

Currently Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Missouri, Montana, Vermont, and Washington all have their minimum wages increased tied to the national economic data.

A Philadelphia Inquirer poll of 604 likely voters revealed that 76 percent of respondents supported raising the minimum wage but were split over approving the change through legislation or a constitutional amendment.

Sweeney's proposal requires legislative approval to get the question on the ballot and voter approval at the polls. It will next go before the full Senate for further discussion.

oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Laura who are you to determine a living wage? Who are you to mandate small business owners increase costs? Nice liberal talking points. If only the government weren't spending trillions we don't have on free phones we might actually focus on creating jobs. 25 million are unemployed....ask them about the minimum wage.....ask them about any wages. Debt and taxes don't help people!!!
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 03:00 AM
oh bummer- either your stupid or you think other people are...here's how you and others like to play tails or heads - we win! Out of one side of their mouth there yelling for tax reductions. . .those tax reductions their talking about if repealed or not extended to the rich. . . would have went toward reducing the deficit. So the Republicans and 'oh bummer' continue to give us this duopoly. . .cut taxes and then complain about the growing deficit which those tax cuts would have went to diminish. . .Who are you fooling!
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:00 AM
yeah Nora I'm sure the owner of the local donut shop or landscape business is making piles of dough because he's paying min wages. You are clueless. Gimmeeeeee gimmeeeeee society. I bet you have an IPhone made in CHINA!!!! Hypocrit
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I am certainly not stupid. I have a better education than Obama. Where did I say cut taxes. I said raise them. What's it gonna do? You are the fraud who cannot answer how to cut the $1.5 trillion annual deficit. Keep up the lies there Spooner. I have the facts. how does cutting taxes increase the deficit anyway? Spending too much creates deficits. come on Spooner you are the top poster in PPB, what's the answer to balancing the budget? Show us how smart you are
gran10 October 17, 2012 at 03:06 AM
@ Laura if you're working 35-40 hrs @ 8 to 10 per hour you're making too much $$ to get public asst.. if the government raises the min wage its a quick way of getting PPL off asst. bcz with I believe 46 million americans on Food stamps or unemployment running out & NO jobs out there to support a household, the Gov't needs to figure out a way to get this PPL off asst. & this is the only way they can do it.
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Is Spooner smarter than a 5th grader Question 1 - If Obama spends $1.5 trillion more than he takes in, how much money does he have left? Question 2 - If the answer to question 1 is there is no money left, where does it come from? Question 3 - If the answer to question 3 is borrowing from CHINA, then why did Obama say doing that was irresponsible and unpatriotic in 2008? Question 4 - If Obama does what he said is unpatriotic and irresponsible, then Obama is also unpatriotic and irresponsible Bonus Question - Why doesn't OBAMA work with a balanced budget? Toms River does. The schools do. Ocean County does. NJ Does.
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 03:36 AM
oh bummer- "how does cutting taxes reduce the deficit" . . .You better go back to school and learn arithmetic again. . .What a dumb statement!
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 03:37 AM
oh bummer- "you had a better education than Obama". . .how would we know that!
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Typical liar. Hey spooner PROVE IT!!! Are you saying that tax cuts and not too much spending are the cause of deficits??
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 03:42 AM
oh bummer- there you go again. . .Hey it's the Congress that appropriates and spends the money...but you blame it on Obama. . .go ahead! Now here's a shocker. . .time for the rich to anti up!!
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Well same as Obama I guess. you will have to take my word for it since my records at Wharton are sealed. If Obama shows us his transcripts, I will show mine. BTW, at B school, they teach us how to balance budgets. That alone is something foreign to a community organizer.
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Congress really? So Bush wasn't responsible like Obama claimed he was??? Another lie eh? You are such a tool. Everyone, Spooner has exonerated Bush for the debts he piled up and the spending. It wasn't his fault. From 01-06 it was the Reps but the Dems took over in 2007 - that included OBAMA and MENENDEZ. SO OBAMA IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEBTS!!! The rich do ante up, it's ante not anti, that would mean be opposed.....anyways, the 10% top earners as the document I posted shows pay 71% of all federal income taxes. The top 25% pay 87%. Don't you get tired of lying and being wrong? Answer these since you cannot answer the other questions. Do we spend $1.5 trillion more than we take in? Do we spend more in 2012 than we did in 2008? Do we spend more on Medicare than it brings in? Here are the answers so you can get 100%. table S4 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 03:59 AM
oh bummer- cut the spin. . .and don't try to play word games. You know and everybody else who has common sense and understands economics knows that when Reagan came in with his tax reform(ACRS & MACRS). . .deficits started to rise and doubled under his watch, with his trickle down theory, promoted by Jack Kemp and David Stockman. Top tax rate went from 70 to 50%.
George Clark October 17, 2012 at 04:01 AM
think of us all as if we were on a ship in a dangerous sea. We are dust specks in the universe fighting for pride, vainity and survival, i suppose. What really bothers me, is that we all don't see. That the great judge above, judges us only by our love. .From one to another, for we are from the same father and mother. It's in our dna, to go a new way. Because as little ants, we'd crap our pants. if we actually each took the weight of this mess, for our souls only test. We'd all soon see, that it's up to just you and me. To save this silly species, from turn our futures into feces. But you all want to be the last standing, Great wealth and power you keep demanding. Till the bitter end, you'll all still defend. your right, to flex your personal might. to be the best there ever was. till we all are just never was. So go on and keep repeating history, For mankind's fate to you will always be a mystery. For you see the winners last stand, will be the end of man.
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Oh Spooner man up. That is not true. In fact, tax revenues under BUSH were the highest ever. Tax income under Reagan grew as did SPENDING! Sadly, SPENDING always went higher and according to you that was Congress' fault not the President's right? So it wasn't Reagan, it was the DEMOCRATS fault all those years. Which is it? Congress or President again? This is why we need a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT! Here's the facts.....you can spin it all you want. What this shows is SPENDING INCREASED and look at those PROJECTED DEFICITS. How can OBAMA justify spending $4.5 Trillion by 2017 - that's another increase of $700 B we just don't have. Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS (–): 1789–2017 (in millions of dollars) Year Total Receipts Outlays Surplus or Deficit (–) 2007 2,567,985 2,728,686 -160,701 2008 2,523,991 2,982,544 -458,553 2009 2,104,989 3,517,677 -1,412,688 2010 2,162,724 3,456,213 -1,293,489 2011 2,303,466 3,603,061 -1,299,595 2012 estimate 2,468,599 3,795,547 -1,326,948 2013 estimate 2,901,956 3,803,364 -901,408 2014 estimate 3,215,293 3,883,095 -667,802 2015 estimate 3,450,153 4,059,866 -609,713 2016 estimate 3,680,085 4,328,840 -648,755 2017 estimate 3,919,275 4,531,723 -612,448
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 04:08 AM
George- I would agree with you about repeating history. There's this economics Professor who I guess doesn't fit in with the main stream mouthpieces by the name of Richard Wolf, who compares the Great Depression to what could happen here in more militant terms. . .
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 04:09 AM
What do the Muslim's say we should do? I'm sure Obama is interested
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Quote from Spooner "Hey it's the Congress that appropriates and spends the money" Dems controlled House and Senate Jan 2007 - Jan 2011 They are responsible for all debts from 1/1/07 to now Obama was a SENATOR in 2007/08 Obama is responsible Pelosi is responsible Reid is responsible Menendez is responsible
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 04:23 AM
oh bummer- there you go again with the word spinning. . .now I didn't say Obama wasn't responsible. . .did I? You gotta calm down a little. Remember Presidents sign the bills??. . .You want to blame it on Obama. . .go ahead. . .but there all in on it...the (R's) and the (D's) I'd love to see the Republicans and those old southern boys(the Dixicrats) swallow $9T in cuts to the budget. . .It ain't goin happen! You got to get out there to some of those southern states ans see all those historial tax dollars at work down there?
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 04:28 AM
So that's your solution? and all along I thought the debt and deficits were bankrupting our country but you and Obama don't care because no one wants to deal with it. Put our heads in the sand is the answer it appears. I had hoped with all of your posts and comments you had more to offer than that.
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 04:29 AM
...and another thing: that taking over in 2007 is misleading. The Republicans still controlled the Senate with the filibuster. . .so yeah they took over the House, but the filibuster could stop any legislation. It wasn't until Al Franken got elected that they were able to defeat the filibuster, but that didn't last too long. Kennedy died and Republican Scott Brown was elected in his place.
George Clark October 17, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Do you all wanna ask questions? or anwer them? We must answer the call. For our country and world may fall. If we just sit and type, Believing all the media hype. Why don't we all make a stand? Would we actually lend a hand? To those we've judged beneath us. With out all the class warfare fuss? Are you worth more then me? in the end we all will see. That there is a higher judge. That will make us lose all the grudge. of comparing one to another. for in the end we will be all brothers. muslim jew and christian too. Does that include even you? what of all the country predujice? Doesn't that just add to all this mess? Why should we be seperated so? We must know it's not the way to go. For these kingdoms and empires have always collapsed. because we've let our better judgement lapse. Us see we've all been misled. By the propaganda we've been fed. to think our kingdom is the best. no other kingdom do we give rest. And what do we get for all this country pride? it would seen to be mankind's suicide. We all know those in power wont be fighting or dieing. so why must we keep listening to them lying? to kill our fellow common man. to fight for the riches of the land.. So go on and choose your chosen few. As you sit upon your confession pew. Those you judge better to lead, will only cause us all to bleed. it's round about the same old way. to live to die another die. under their guidance with persicion missiles, to reap what we sow of throns and thistles. please spell check
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 04:38 AM
For goodness sake, another excuse. On March 23, 2007, the Senate voted 52-47 to approve a $2.9 trillion FY 2008 budget resolution Democrats in the House and Senate announced plans to combine the legislation into one spending package, tying funding for education, job training and other social services with money for defense and veterans.
Spooner October 17, 2012 at 04:50 AM
...I'm trying to tell you that's a matter contention. . .of who controlled the Government. As for Pelosi: I'm no fan of her. . .and I know your going to find this hard to believe. . .but neither was Obama. She was a pain in his butt. You have to understand that party labels go only so far. The House is or was her bailiwick...just like the Senate is Reids. You like to make party associations. . .but they don't always materialize...as much as you would like them too. You don't seem to understand Washington politics?
Nora October 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM
oh bummer. Nope no chinese made iPhone. I'm not clueless either, the local doughnut shop and the landscapers might already be paying their employees more than minimum wage and if not doing so won't ruin their business. Being in a full time job a worker should have enough pay to manage basic costs of living. That's not a gimme society thats just common sense.
Kileyjones76 October 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Oh sure, I have to pay additional taxes, my business revenues have been slightly down over the last 4 years, my take home is down and now you want me to give pay raises to unskilled labor in my office? GET REAL!!!!!
Opinionated October 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM
You know, I've been reading some of these posts and they made me think. First, some say raising the minimum wage will get people off of relief. Won't that discourage even more from seeking employment? Second, won't it further encourage some to hire more illegal aliens? It's all a simple matter of math. If we were to send ALL of the illegals packing, the job market would open up with a lot more openings which would alleviate our unemployment situation and cause a greater demand for OUR workers which would raise wages. I still believe in a minimum wage but would prefer to see people make more. Some criminal proponents will tell us, "oh, you can't get rid of all of them because there are too many". One cure would be to declare EVERY BUSINESS who hires them a "criminal enterprise". The govt. would seize all of their assets. And to do this whether the papers "looked OK" or not. I realize we will all have to pay more for goods and services but at least it will go to a better place. It's all basic math and Business 101. Higher demand for workers will create a higher wage.
oh bummer October 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Good work! Getting the illegals out of the system would save us all on costs for healthcare and education which they now take up. Less uninsured driving accidents. Less crime. This too would help AMERICANS!
George Clark October 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Go and try to hire an illegal alien for minimum wage. Most wont work for less the 10 and hour. That's a fact. Unless of course you starve them till the point of desperation like we are being done to. Kiley what's your business? What do you make and what percentage of total take do you take home? Just curious since you have unskilled office help for minimum wage I hope your not making alot. Can't be that hard if your unskilled force can do it. Medicare billing? Give us a hint so we can judge your true worth not hiding behind this so called freemarket.
Cardinal October 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Christie thinking of blocking Obamacare just he sat $300 million dollars of federal foreclosure aid as New Jersey homeowners suffered.

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