by Michael D. Thompson

New Jersey voters have approved a ballot question that will raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour, and to provide for future increases based on changes in the consumer price index.

After Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the minimum wage increase earlier this year, both houses of the New Jersey Legislature approved a referendum on the issue.  Accordingly, voters were asked: 

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.

Sixty-one percent of voters answered “yes.”

Based on the referendum, the New Jersey Constitution will be amended to require employers to pay employees $8.25 per hour as of January 1, 2014.  Furthermore, “on September 30 of each subsequent year, the State minimum wage rate shall be increased effective the following January 1 by any increase … in the consumer price index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers…”

In the event of an increase in the federal minimum wage, the New Jersey minimum wage “shall be immediately increased to the level of the federal minimum wage,” and that rate will subsequently adjusted upwards based on changes in the consumer price index.