TRENTON – The Assembly passed a bill championed by Democrats to raise New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage to $8.50 and require the rate to then be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index received final legislative by a vote of 44-31-1 on Monday.
With final legislative approval in hand, the bill now goes to the governor, who could sign it, veto it or attempt to modify it through a conditional veto.
The Assembly initially voted to approve the bill in May. The Senate approved it on Thursday. The Assembly had to reconsider it because of amendments that moved the effective date to March 1, 2013 and the start of the CPI indexing to Jan. 1, 2014.
Under this legislation, and based on projected trends in the CPI by nonpartisan legislative staff, the minimum wage would rise to $9.49 in 2017:
During the Assembly reorganization ceremony in January, Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) announced increasing the minimum wage – which is now $7.25 per hour – would be a Democratic priority this legislative session.
The bill (A-2162) specifically increases New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage rate to $8.50 on and then requires it be adjusted annually based on any increase in the Consumer Price Index, with the adjustment taking effect on July 1 of each year.
“This is great progress for hard-working New Jersey families struggling to make ends meet,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “Democrats are united in their belief in a living wage for all New Jerseyan, and we will now see if the governor shares our core belief. Hopefully, the governor will sign this bill as-is, but if he does not, then we’ll quickly take stock and weigh our next step, including asking the people of New Jersey to decide this important matter.”