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.

"I don't think what he's doing tonight, the method by which he's doing it helps to build a trustful relationship."
—Gov. Chris Christie reacting to President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform.