New Jersey business and labor leaders have been locked in a $2.3 million battle to influence whether the state's lowest-paid workers should earn more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour – and whether the state constitution should be amended to tie future minimum-wage increases to the cost of living. The initiative, expected to pass, is a workaround conceived by Democrats after Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a legislative bill to raise the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, in the country's opposite corner, the town of SeaTac, Wash., home of the Seattle airport, has become the site of an experiment by labor unions: They want to raise the town's minimum wage to $15 an hour and grant paid sick days to all workers. The pay rate would be vastly higher than any other minimum wage in the country: Employers in the state pay their workers a minimum of $9.19 per hour, already the highest state-level wage.