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New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase Amendment, Public Question 2 (2013)

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Minimum Wage Increase Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:New Jersey Constitution
Referred by:New Jersey State Legislature
Topic:Minimum wage
Status:On the ballot
The New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase Amendment, also known as SCR 1, will appear on the November 5, 2013 ballot in the state of New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would increase minimum wage in the state beginning January 1 after its approval.[1]

Background

According to reports, a proposal was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 within a few weeks of the potential law's enactment. However, on January 28, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the proposal; instead requesting that the minimum wage be increased to $8.50 over the span of two years. Legislators in support of the measure did not agree with Christie's proposal, and instead turned their efforts to placing the measure on the ballot instead of trying to enact the law immediately through Christie.

The current minimum wage in the state is $7.25.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The official ballot language reads as follows:[2].

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO SET A STATE MINIMUM WAGE WITH ANNUAL COST OF LIVING INCREASES
Do you approve amending the State Constitution to set a State minimum wage rate of at least $8.25 per hour? The amendment also requires annual increases in that rate if there are annual increases in the cost of living.
YES
NO [3]

Interpretive statement

The interpretive statement of the measure reads:[2]

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
This amendment to the State Constitution sets the State minimum wage at the level in effect under current law, or $8.25 per hour, whichever is more. Cost of living increases would be added each year. Also, if the federal minimum wage rate is raised above the State rate, the State rate would be raised to match the federal rate. Future cost of living increases then would be added to that raised rate. [3]

Opposition

Opponents say that the measure could have negative economic consequences for the state that lead to a loss of low-income jobs. Opponents also argue that minimum wage laws should be kept out of the state constitution where they are harder to change should the need arise.[4]

Opponents

  • New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses[4]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2013 ballot measures
  • A poll of registered voters conducted by Rutgers-Eagleton from April 3 to 7 reported that 76% were in favor of of the amendment, 20% opposed it, and 4% did not know. The study surveyed 923 randomly selected New Jersey adults and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.[5]
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

New Jersey Public Question 2 (2013)
Poll Support OppositionUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rutgers-Eagleton
April 3-7, 2013
76%20%4%+/-3.2923
Rutgers-Eagleton
September 3-9, 2013
76%22%2%+/-4.1568
Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press
September 6-10, 2013
65%12%23%+/-3.8674
AVERAGES 72.33% 18% 9.67% +/-3.7 721.67
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the New Jersey Constitution

In New Jersey, the state legislature must approve a proposed amendment by a supermajority vote of 60% but the same amendment can also qualify for the ballot if successive sessions of the New Jersey State Legislature approve it by a simple majority.

On February 7, 2013, the New Jersey State Senate voted to approve the measure, sending it to the General Assembly.[6] On February 14, the New Jersey General Assembly gave final approval to place the measure on the 2013 fall general election ballot.[7]

See also

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