While the gubernatorial election between New Jersey Sen. Barbara Buono and Gov. Chris Christie garners most of the attention in the media, I think it is important to remember that there is another very important issue on the ballot this November.
I believe strongly that New Jersey residents need and deserve an increase in the minimum wage. I applaud state Senate President Steve Sweeney's efforts to put a minimum-wage increase proposal on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Without the support of Sweeney, a minimum-wage increase push would have ended unsuccessfully at Republican Chris Christie's desk.
An increase in the minimum wage will actually help to improve the state's economy. While unemployment has dropped to 8.7 percent, it is still nearly 3 points higher than Maryland's. People who work at the lowest wage level will be able to spend this extra money to support their families and support area businesses.
Automatic cost-of-living increases, a provision in the proposed amendment and the vetoed bill, would assure that our minimum-wage residents continue to support themselves as costs rise in the future.
They will have a better opportunity to support their families.
In November, we as voters have the power to support the working people of New Jersey. We will make the final decision on this issue. I fully expect our state's voters will approve this important public question.
Sean P. Ryan