Minneapolis Minimum Wage
On August 30th, the Minnesota Supreme Court took arguments from supporters and opponents of the proposed city-wide $15 per hour minimum wage. The two sides gave their arguments to the Supreme Court, whether the proposed city charter change should go on the ballot on November 8th for Minneapolis residents to vote on.
This summer, the Minneapolis City Council voted against raising the minimum wage, however supporters sued, and asked a judge from a Hennepin County District Court to put the referendum on the ballot and it was granted. Minneapolis appealed the decision, where the Supreme Court granted an emergency hearing, based on the limited time before the election. Supporters of the minimum wage increase believe that the Minneapolis City Council were heavily influenced by special interests, while the city believes a measure like this should be passed by an ordinance from the City Council, and not a referendum for all residents. It is worth noting that since 1920, the city charter has barred referendums on city ordinances.
UPDATE: The Minnesota Supreme Court sided with the city of Minneapolis and has ruled that the minimum wage referendum will not be on the ballot this November.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Vetoes $15 per hour Minimum Wage
On Tuesday August 30th, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage in increments in five years to $15 per hour. In 2013, state voters agreed on a minimum wage increase to $8.25 per hour, and it is now tied to the consumer price index for a minimum wage of $8.38 per hour. The NJPP estimated that 975,000 people would have benefited from the wage hike.
The bill was passed by the Democratic controlled New Jersey Senate and House, but Governor Christie believes that the bill failed to consider the ability of businesses to absorb the increased labor costs. This is now the second time that Governor Christie has vetoed a minimum wage hike brought to him by the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature. Christie believed this would have hurt the workers that the bill was designed to help, and provided the example that more automated kiosks would be introduced at grocery stores to offset the labor cost of a higher minimum wage.