Members of Leadership Continue to Pan Gov’s Rejection of Tying Future Increases to the Consumer Price Index
(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex), Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Assembly Majority Conference Leader Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen) issued a multimedia package Wednesday in which they continue to criticize Gov. Christie’s decision to conditionally veto minimum wage increase legislation.
The legislation (A-2162) would increase New Jersey’s minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $8.50/hr and would tie future increases to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The governor’s conditional veto removes the CPI tie-in and opts for a $1 phase-in over three years, a move Assembly leadership finds unacceptable.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the Assembly members panning the governor’s conditional veto and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from leadership members is appended below:
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex):
“The Democratic-controlled legislature does not embrace the governor’s rejection of the CPI portion of the bill. We would not be in the situation that we are in, with people having earned $7.25 an hour since 2005, if we had a CPI.”
Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex):
“It’s unfortunate that the governor wanted to make increasing the minimum wage that much harder. It seems the governor is more intent on using the minimum wage, again, as a political tool, and not looking at it as relief for low income earners.”
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chair:
“The amount that he wanted to compromise is, it’s not enough for the working families of the State of New Jersey. Those working poor need more help and it’s unbelievable that he cannot understand that $1.25 was the right amount to give these folks.”
Assembly Majority Conference Leader Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen):
“I think it is incumbent upon us to send this bill to the people. Let the people decide if they’re willing to pay a little bit more for consumer products so these folks can have a decent quality of life.”