Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate President Steve Sweeney released the following statements Monday after Gov. Christie conditionally vetoed the legislation (A-2162/S-3) they sponsored to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour and make annual CPI increases:
“Gov. Christie has again failed hard-working New Jerseyans.
“Gov. Christie should have sided with Democrats and ensured an immediate livable wage for all residents, but he has failed miserably. This conditional veto is unacceptable. Any proposal that lacks annual adjustments to ensure wages keep pace with the economy is not a real solution.
“Gov. Christie’s callous action leaves us no choice but to send this matter to the voters.
“The optimal approach would have been for Gov. Christie to show some heart and approve this pro-worker measure as proposed. Because Gov. Christie would rather play politics, asking voters to approve a constitutional amendment this November is the only other choice.
“We will now move as required to complete the legislative process on the constitutional amendment and get the question on the ballot this fall.”
"Everyone deserves a wage that helps support their family and improves their quality of life. For too long, working people in this state have been struggling with stagnant wages. We gave the governor a chance to do the right thing for working people in New Jersey.
"His action shows that he believes politics and politicians need to remain part of the process on minimum wage. I think they need to be removed from it entirely. The well-being of working people in this state should not be left to the whims of politicians to decide on every couple of years.
"This is just one in series of examples, whether it was vetoing the millionaire's tax or slashing funding for women's health, where the governor has failed to take the side of hard working low and middle income people in New Jersey."