New Jersey’s Chris Christie, an avid backer of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, vetoed a $15 an hour minimum wage hike that would be enacted over a 5-year period. The veto comes as no surprise to lawmakers. Christie has openly opposed a higher minimum wage. New Jersey’s minimum wage is $8.38, according to Reuters.
The state agreed to a previous minimum wage hike in 2013, moving the minimum wage up to $8.25 from $7.25.
California and New York are the only two states in the country to offer a $15 minimum wage. Christie stated, “Despite having a constitutional mandate in place, the legislature now wants to increase the minimum wage by almost 80 percent just three years later.”
Supporters of Christie state that the bill wanted to raise the minimum wage too quickly. The ability of small businesses to be able to afford the rate hike is the biggest concern, according to lawmakers.
Reports from Zillow put the median home value in the state at $292,500. New Jersey also has an effective property tax rate of 2.29%, making it the highest effective tax rate on property in the country.
Lead sponsor of the bill, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, stated, “A substantial minimum wage increase will help lift countless families out of poverty, decrease government dependency and boost commerce by pumping more dollars back into the economy.”