Christie rejects minimum wage bill

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie rejected the Legislature’s minimum wage hike bill Monday and sent a re-written proposal back to lawmakers.

The governor is offering a $1 dollar phase-in over three years, as well as a 25 percent increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

In his veto message, Christie said this bill would “jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek.”

Lawmakers proposed a $1.25 increase – raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 – and an annual cost of living increase.

Christie said that New Jersey’s small businesses would not be able to survive the minimum wage increase and automatic annual increase. He said they would be faced with three choices: lay off workers, raise prices or leave New Jersey.

Senate President Steve Sweeney had vowed that if the bill was vetoed, the Democrats would pursue plan B: a constitutional amendment.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie