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Unions push for minimum wage that small businesses say they can't afford

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Advocates are pressing commuters is New Jersey to approve a constitutional amendment that would tie the state's minimum wage to an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

Representatives of the state's AFL-CIO union and Working Families United for New Jersey are distributing leaflets at major mass-transit hubs Monday.

The question on Tuesday's ballot would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 per hour, with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index.

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'd be hamstrung by the constitutional amendment if there is another economic recession.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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