TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey voters have approved a raising the state's minimum wage Jan. 1 and then every year.
The Democrat-led state Legislature put the constitutional amendment on the ballot after failing to strike a deal with Republican Gov. Chris Christie on the changes.
The wage is to go up by $1, to $8.25 hourly on Jan. 1. It also calls for automatic increases every Sept. 1 based on cost-of-living changes.
Business owners say they'll be forced to lay off workers, cut employee hours or raise prices to compensate for having to pay a higher minimum wage. They also say they'll be hamstrung by the constitutional amendment if there is another economic recession.
The state's AFL-CIO union and Working Families United for New Jersey had backed the measure.
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