Minimum Wage Increase Put in Voters Hands Following Gov. Christie’s Veto
(TRENTON) — Assembly members L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex), Timothy J. Eustace, D.C. (D-Bergen), and Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) issued a multimedia package Friday in which they discuss their legislation to put the fate of a minimum wage increase in the hands of New Jersey voters this November.
The measure (SCR-1) was initially put forth as a proactive measure in case Gov. Christie decided to veto legislation (A-2162) to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. The governor conditionally vetoed that bill last month.
The resolution puts the question of raising the minimum wage in New Jersey before the voters via a referendum placed on the November 2013 ballot for consideration. It is one of several legislative measures being pushed by Democrats in the Assembly to spur job creation and jumpstart economic recovery in the state.
The multimedia package consists of a video of comments from the members and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the members is appended below:
Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex):
“The bill will allow for a referendum to be placed on the ballot in November, wherein citizens of the State of New Jersey will have an opportunity to vote on whether or not the minimum wage should be raised, and whether or not it should continue to be raised based on the cost of living index. That’s what we’re looking at in November.”
Assemblyman Timothy J. Eustace, D.C. (D-Bergen):
“In the area we’re in, in Bergen County, you can’t afford even an apartment on minimum wage. You would have to work two jobs to be able to afford a place to live and be able to eat. So, the idea is to move it to a livable wage, at $8.25, as opposed to $7.25.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex):
“I know that we will continue to hear all kinds of opinions during the next several months, but I think there is no disagreement, no matter what side of this issue you have been on, that we are all committed to doing what we can do collectively to elevate the quality of life for all people across all spheres.”