New Jersey vote puts minimum wage hikes in state constitution

November 07, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The ballot question making changes to New Jersey’s minimum wage was presented to voters in the November 5 election and passed easily, but many business leaders are uneasy about the change.

By a 60-40 percent vote, voters passed Public Question 2, which will raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014. In addition to the $1 increase, the ballot question will amend the New Jersey constitution to ensure that the state minimum wage will automatically rise with inflation.

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Maine passes gay marriage initiative

by Peter D. Lowe

On Tuesday, 53 percent of Mainers voted to allow same-sex marriage. Question 1, which asked “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” was an indirect initiative. That means that because supporters collected the required number of signatures by January 2012 and the Maine Legislature failed to pass the bill in the first half of the year, the question was put up for a popular vote. Significantly, the referendum reverses the position that Mainers took in 2009 in a similar referendum and marks the first time in U.S. history that same-sex marriage has been enacted by popular vote.

Maine should see the effects of the vote very early next year. The secretary of state has 20 days to approve election results before sending them along to the governor, who must certify them within 10 days. The law goes into effect 30 days after being certified—likely sometime in January 2013. Be on the lookout for an article discussing how this could affect your workplace in the next issue of Maine Employment Law Letter.

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Florida: Health Care Reform Foes Fortified

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Thomas Harper, Harper Gerlach PL

In a very close election, Republican Rick Scott, a virtual unknown who received heavy Tea Party support, has been elected as the new governor. Scott, a multimillionaire with a background in health care administration, has lived in Florida for seven years. He was heavily criticized during his campaign by Democratic opponent Alex Sink due to his health care company’s participation in numerous Medicare regulatory violations, for which the company was forced to repay the government hefty amounts.

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New Hampshire: Governor Lynch Last Democrat Standing

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Jay Surdukowski, Sulloway & Hollis, P.L.L.C.

In New Hampshire, Republicans claimed a 19-5 edge in the state senate, a huge house majority, and likely unanimous control of the Governor’s Council, though incumbent Democratic Governor John Lynch managed to keep his post.

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Arkansas: Largest Shift in State Political History

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Don Eilbott, Jack, Nelson, Jones, Jiles & Gregory, P.A.

I fully realize that the story of election evening was the Republican victories in the House and Senate nationwide and locally. In fact, looking at color-coded maps of the congressional districts, I see the country is now solid red, with the exception of the small blue areas of the large cities. We have gone back to urban vs. rural — or perhaps worse, poor vs. all others, or even worse, a racial divide.

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Montana: Few Surprises in Big Sky Elections

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Jeanne M. Bender, Holland & Hart LLP

Lone congressman Republican Denny Rehberg was reelected by a large margin after a somewhat nasty campaign.

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West Virginia: Don’t Expect Support for EFCA

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Robert Steptoe, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Senator-elect Joe Manchin, who will fill the remaining two years of Senator Robert Byrd’s term, can be expected to oppose most of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) based on an interview with the Wheeling newspaper.

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Virginia: Don’t Expect EEOC, DOL to Ease Up

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Michael Barnsback, DiMuroGinsberg, P.C.

Republicans picked up three U.S. House of Representatives seats in Virginia, defeating Democratic incumbents in the Second, Fifth, and Ninth Districts. The Eleventh District race in northern Virginia between incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian was too close to call at the time of publication, but Connolly held a 500-vote lead.

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Utah: Compromise, Cooler Heads Will Prevail

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Darryl J. Lee, Wood Jenkins LLC

Utah sends all of its incumbents back to the U.S. Congress, together with a new Tea Party constitutionalist, Republican Mike Lee, who easily won the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by Bob Bennett. (Bennett couldn’t make it out of Utah’s Republican caucus.)

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Tennessee: Delegation More Employer-Friendly

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by John B. Phillips, Jr.

Tuesday’s election continues Tennessee’s move toward a solid-red Republican state:

  • In the governor’s race, Republican Bill Haslam won with an overwhelming majority, replacing two-term Democrat Phil Bredesen, who was prohibited from running for a third term.
  • It also appears that Tennessee Republicans will make gains in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly, extending and increasing the Republican control of both state houses.
  • Tennessee’s congressional delegation will be made up of seven Republicans and two Democrats, a net gain of two seats for the GOP. (Both U.S. senators are Republicans, though neither was up for election this year.)

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