When I started working in 1979 washing dishes minimum wage was $2.90 an hour. I remember thinking back then, Wow that’s a lot of money. That, of course, was the situation of a teenager living at home saving up to buy a turntable. In 1979, gas costs 86 cents a gallon
I never really thought about whether I could have actually lived on my own at that pay rate, but for many people that is the reality.
The Federal Minimum Wage reached its peak of $7.25 in 2009. State’s can set higher rates. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware all honor the Federal Minimum Wage rate.
In a fight largely led by Democrats, there’s an effort underway to change the state’s minimum wage.
In May, the New Jersey Assembly approved a bill that called for $8.50 an hour, but Republican Governor Chris Christie indicated that he would not sign it.
Now state Senate President Steve Sweeney is proposing to by-pass the Governor and ask voters to approve a minimum wage hike of $1 to $8.25 per hour, and tie yearly increases to national economic data, called indexing.
The Gloucester County Democrat said his path would require amending the state constitution, which is something Christie calls “truly ridiculous.”
If the question were on the ballot in New Jersey, would you approve raising the state minimum wage to $8.25? Please explain your reasoning. I’d really like to know either way.