By Alex Lloyd Gross
It is very difficult to get both republicans and democrats to agree on anything. However, in New Jersey, they voted to increase the state minimum wage to $15.00 unanimously. That means both republicans and democrats in both the house and senate want this bill to pass, so they drafted legislation and put it on the desk of Governor Chris Christie to sign. He killed it, vetoed it claiming it would be burdensome to businesses.
This proposed law would allow working families a little wiggle room with their finances. New York already raised it and there was no loss of businesses or any mass layoff’s of workers. In fact, just the opposite happened. New Jersey has one of the highest costs of living in the country, with a good portion of the population residing within 25 miles of New York or Philadelphia. Currently workers in New Jersey must be paid at least $8.38 per hour.
This proposal was going to phase the increase in over five years. There would be no shock when people went to bed and woke up the next morning to a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. Chris Christie is falling all over Donald Trump, trying to ingratiate himself to the presidential candidate in the hopes that he will be given a spot on Trump’s cabinet. Donald Trump begrudgingly came out in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.00 per hour.
This is in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton who made a pledge to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour should she be elected. Christie’s veto of this important legislation affects the livelihood of enough voters to sway an election in New Jersey. He is a lame duck with nothing to gain by voting for this increase. His term ends in 2018.
Christie says the wage of $8.38 per hour is fine for workers. Many workers in New Jersey making $9.00 an hour or less are college educated, single parents trying to make ends meet or are working a part time job in addition to their regular employment. The high school student working in fast food is still there but they are getting replaced by older, more experienced workers. Critics who claim that should the wage get increased will result in more automation are wrong.
One must look to self service checkouts in supermarkets and EZ Pass pay system to see progress is moving forward whether people are paid $8.00 per hour or $25.00 per hour.
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