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Christie Vetoes Min Wage Bill

New Jersey Governor Kills Assembly Minimum Wage Hike, Proposes His Own More Modest Plan

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The State House in Trenton, New Jersey.

The State House in Trenton, New Jersey.

Good news and less good news this snowy afternoon, Save Jerseyans.

The Good? Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a ghastly Assembly bill today that would’ve increased New Jersey’s minimum wage by $1.25 per hour and tied future increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). You can read the veto here (pdf).

The Less Good? Governor Christie pitched a counter-proposal of his own. The details are as follows (via an Administration release):

Under Governor Christie’s proposal, New Jersey’s minimum wage earners will receive an immediate raise of twenty-five cents per hour in the first year, followed by a second-year increase of fifty cents, and finally another twenty-five cent per hour increase in the third year. By combining both immediate and long-term increases to minimum wage pay and removing the volatile unpredictability of automatic increases, the Governor’s plan will give workers the relief they need and also give New Jersey’s small businesses a short, but necessary, period to plan for the implementation of a one-dollar increase. This sensible and balanced approach will prevent the layoffs and relocations certain to accompany the Legislature’s current proposal.”

Translated: Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a proposed $1.25 per hour minimum wage increase from the Legislature, preferring an increase that would be just $1 per hour and phased in over a period of three years…

Better than the Democrat proposal? Absolutely! But I can’t help but notice that Cory Booker, Dick Codey and now, as of today, both Steve Sweeney and Bill Pascrell are all OUT of the gubernatorial hunt for 2013. Chris Christie’s only opponent in the hapless Babs Buono. Barring dramatic outside events (which are never impossible), Chris Christie is on the fast track to reelection. The Dems aren’t going to make him a priority, electing to focus on reclaiming Virginia instead.

Why not use some of that built up political capital (70%+ approval in some recent polls) to kill a really bad idea for our state economy?

Like ANY minimum wage increase which essentially functions as a new tax on small business owners? Many of whom are recovering from Superstorm Sandy? They’re the ones who will be forced to pay untrained laborers (like college kids) higher rates this summer. Most family breadwinners aren’t making the minimum wage; that’s a Democrat talking point unrooted in reality. Why aren’t Republicans saying any of this? Instead of just attacking the Democrats’ hike as constructed?

I said it back in November and I’ll say it one more time today, folks: now is a time for courage and leadership (and creativity, too). New Jersey Republicans need to shift gears and start attacking the substance of Democrat policies rather than restrict their primary objections to the procedural issues.

We’ve discussed the economics of this issue ad nauseum here at Save Jersey, my friends. This is a strategic question… enough defense! Compromise is a good thing when both parties act in good faith.

Compromise is also something which comes after you’ve staked out your principled position and engaged in a public debate; every time we adopt a bad liberal premise (like the reasonableness of a minimum wage law), that’s territory which we never reclaim. And it’s the taxpayers who pay for our mistake. 

New Jersey GOP candidates face a tough map this fall, with or without their Governor leading the ticket. We’re never going to save this state unless we show a little confidence in our arguments! Let’s start teaching again or get used to permanent minority status… the choice is ours to make.

56 comments on “Christie Vetoes Min Wage Bill

  1. I grew up in a housing project and can personally attest to the fact that there are plenty of "Breadwinners", who make minimum wage and have to break their backs at a second job as a result. It's actually a fairly common practice. Needless to say, that's a pretty condescending statement to make.

  2. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Justin Ask a small business owner. The minimum wage isn't designed for a 40 year old man with 2 kids and rent. Republicans need to refocus the discussion on our real problem: why are so many 40 year olds with kids unemployed under the current policies? Or to the limited extent they are earning the min wage (your facts are wrong there), relying on an insufficient low wage to survive? Hiking the minimum wage only exacerbates the employment problem. I can and have cited overwhelming empirical evidence which overwhelms biographical anecdotes!

  3. Once its on the ballot in November, this won't matter.

  4. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Rick That's very true, and since my party refuses to engage the issue head on, it's a fait accompli.

  5. Your brand is damaged Matt…and not from confronting issues…from the perception of callousness with issues that affect the working poor…such as this. Its all about the business and not enough about the people that business employs. I know, you'll come back with the stale old argument that a minimum wage hurts businesses and people…predictable. But, bottom line is that the perception of not caring, especially after last years election, damaged the republican party. That, and the stupid social comments made by a few.

  6. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Rick You're right about one thing… perception is what matters. That my party's #1 challenge: cutting through the emotional rhetorical B.S. from the Left and helping voters understand the math behind these proposals. Unfortunately that's the much harder task! And it's why we're losing.

  7. As long as you keep emotions out of any proposals, you will lose. Not sure why you have such an aversion to emotions and in turn, to people's emotions. After all….isn't it all about the people?

  8. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Rick Emotions are counterproductive when they overwhelm logic. The minimum wage is a beautiful example. Who DOESN'T want their neighbor, son, father, whomever, to earn a "living wage?" The question is how do we get there? If the minimum wage law results in reduced hours, less jobs and less opportunity to earn that mandated wage… what good is it? And that's what the data tells us happens EVERY TIME a hike is enacted.

  9. Why not just raise the minimum wage to $40.00 an hour? That would solve everything…..right?

  10. Not all data does that…this from the Washington Post on Maryland's try at raising the wage…"There is also some research to suggest that raising the minimum wage does not create a drag on job growth, but it doesn’t boost it, either. Michael Reich, the director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at University of California-Berkeley, conducted a study in which he looked at the employment picture in counties that shared a border but were located in states with different minimum wage levels.

    He found that a minimum wage hike did not result in jobs being slashed. Instead, the study showed that such a policy had no net effect on job growth in the region.

    Reich did find, however, that a minimum wage increase reduced employee turnover, and in turn, cut companies’ costs for recruitment and training."

  11. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Rick Do you have a link?

  12. Typical liberal responses to your analysis Matt. Fantasy, "emotion", unicorns, puppy dogs and the Easter Bunny as a retort to cold hard facts, reason, reality and logic. These fantasies and pandering to emotion are exactly the reasons why we find ourselves in this everdeepening hole that we can't seem to get ourselves out of. Liberal's absolutely refuse to face reality and reason and will continue to pander to fantasy at all costs..

  13. Point is…there are different schools of thought on raising the wage…your brand opposes, my brand proposes. I would bet that my brand will win. Its all about the people Matt.

  14. Safe to assume someone brand also never created a new business or private sector jobs either. Maybe everyone can work for the government, it may work this time around.

  15. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    @Rick and @Justin: The truth… http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204

  16. Matt Rooney via Face says:

    And why it doesn't help workers: http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamdunkelberg/201

  17. Like I said, point is you can find different studies to do what you need them to do. You like yours, I like mine. Mine show that a large group depends on the minimum wage and when its increased, they spend money. Yours shows the opposite. Put to the people in November, I bet it will pass.

  18. Joe Sinagra via Face says:

    Raise the minimum to $40, 50 or 70. Everything else will increase accordingly and in the end regardless of how high you increase the minimum, or declare what a livable wage is you are still going to have a minimum wage . . . granted it may be higher but it will still be the minimum, there will always be the lower end of the scale. That is a fact, no matter what side of the issue you are on.

  19. [...] can’t imagine why; maybe it’s because Republicans have strategically surrendered on the issue? Rather than honor their obligation to the state’s small business community by explaining to [...]

  20. [...] November ballot. The GOP (both here in the Garden State and elsewhere across the fruited plain) is dropping the ball. We’ve chosen to run with [...]

  21. [...] there isn’t enough of a difference to make me happy. New Jersey’s minimum wage debate is a good example. But 9 times out of 10, electing a Republican majority will make an immediate and tangible [...]

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