By: Aaron CarterFollowing in the footsteps of the New Jersey State Assembly, the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee moved forward on legislation (S15) increasing the New Jersey State minimum wage to $15 by 2021. The legislation made it out of the Senate Committee in a close 7-6 vote with one Democrat crossing the aisle. The legislation will now head to the full Senate for a vote. The proposed bill would immediately increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 on January 1, 2017. The minimum wage would then increase year by year by about $1.25 an hour until 2021. After 2021, any wage increase would be tied to changes in the consumer price index (CPI). If the full Senate passes the bill, Governor Christie is all but guaranteed to veto it. In 2013, Gov. Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50. The Democratic-controlled legislature then put the wage increase to voters at the ballot box. The voters passed the constitutional referendum codifying the wage increase. Employers should expect similar procedural steps and a 2017 vote on the constitutional referendum if the full senate approves the $15 minimum wage bill. The imposition of the wage would then not take effect until 2018. For more information regarding the potential impacts of Bill A15, or regarding any other wage and hour issues, please contact John R. Vreeland, Esq. Director of the Firm’s Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group, at 973-535-7118 or email@example.com, or Aaron C. Carter, Esq. at 973-646-3275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.