- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday a hike to the minimum wage of $1, rallying behind the Democratic-backed measure by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent.

Gov. Chris Christie, who won easy re-election Tuesday evening, had opposed a minimum-wage increase for months, saying the economy — already dismal due to Superstorm Sandy fallout — would take an even greater hit with the new mandate. He blocked a bill that would have raised the pay by a similar amount a few months ago, The New York Times reported.

But Democrats would not be denied. They pushed for a spot on the ballot that would let voters decide on an amendment to the state Constitution to hike the minimum-wage level to $8.25 by Jan. 1 — and then again each year, in line with inflation.

Businesses are now scrambling, looking for ways to offset the mandated increase — which comes at the same time they’re also struggling with costly Obamacare regulations. Some predict layoffs are on the way.

The Times reported that the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says the minimum-wage hike will lead to 31,000 lost jobs in the next decade.

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