Minimum Wage Bill Killed in N.H. Senate

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State Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, speaks Wednesday in the Senate.

CONCORD – The state Senate essentially killed the latest minimum wage bill along party lines 14 Republicans to 10 Democrats voting SB 144 inexpedient to legislate.

State Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, stated, “For the tenth year in a row, I have brought forward legislation to enact and increase a minimum wage in our state. Fighting for a livable wage for our Granite Staters has been something I have always truly believed in, and it is a fight I, and our Caucus, will not give up on.

“From Rhode Island’s hourly wage of $13, to Vermont’s at $13.18, Maine’s at $13.80 and Massachusetts’s at $15, New Hampshire continues to be on an island alone in New England, as all of our surrounding states have made efforts to ensure that their citizenry is guaranteed a baseline of a livable wage.”

The bill would have raised the minimum wage incrementally over two years to $15 an hour.

Soucy said the impending vote on SB 189, a bill to increase the threshold for taxation of Granite Staters on interest alone from $2,400 to $50,000 shows where the Republicans have their priorities.

“(This) truly shows the citizens of our state where the Senate Republicans priorities are – they have shown that they will always prioritize the wealthiest members of our state over hardworking, everyday Granite Staters, which is a terrible shame.”

State Sen. Dan Innis, R-Bradford, said after the vote that the bill creates “winners and losers in our state’s labor market. Some workers lose their jobs due to increases in the minimum wage.

“While well-intentioned, mandating an increased minimum wage on companies could also result in reduced employee hours. Some first-time job seekers may never get that all-important opportunity.

“Raising the minimum wage at a time when wage growth in New Hampshire has been significant is unnecessary. Rather we should be working to lessen the economic burdens being faced by Granite State businesses, not exacerbating them, especially as businesses deal with record high ongoing inflationary cost pressures,” Innis said.

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