To the Editor:
Now is the time to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage and in November voters will have the opportunity to do just that when they go to the polls to elect the governor and the Legislature.
I would have said that the time to raise the minimum wage is actually long past due, but Governor Christie refused to go along with the increase that was approved by the Democratic Legislature when he vetoed a bill that would raise the wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 and make sure that future increases are kicked in when the cost of living goes up. The governor wanted to phase in the increase over three years and eliminate the cost-of-living provision. That would be too little and it would come too late.
This November we have the power to right a wrong and increase the minimum wage. I thank Senator Steve Sweeney for providing the leadership needed to get this issue on the ballot and allow voters the opportunity to decide on it.
We have the opportunity to do what the governor won’t do, which is give working people a fairer share. Regardless of who people decide to support for governor or for the Legislature, I urge everyone to get to the polls this year and vote in favor of the minimum wage increase and to tell all your friends, neighbors and coworkers to do the same.
It’s good for working people who are paid the minimum; it’s good for those who are paid more because the increase can help push up all wages, and it’s good for the general economy because it will put more money toward economic activity. And we can be the ones to make it happen.