Senate votes on minimum wage, lobsters, bar hours
New Hampshire is one of a handful of states that does not have its own minimum wage, but relies on the federal minimum wage, after the state's law was repealed two years ago.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said the most recent increase in the federal law killed jobs, particularly for teenagers and those seeking entry-level positions.
"Despite the well-meaning intent," Bradley said, "the minimum wage costs us jobs."
While the state was the first to institute its own minimum wage, Soucy said, "We are now amongst a small handful of states that cedes its authority to the federal government when on so many other issues we refuse to cede authority to the federal government."
Fuel oil cleanup fund
People will be paying a little more for heating oil after the Senate approved House Bill 185, which adds a quarter of a penny per gallon fee used to fund fuel oil tank cleanups and replacements.
Bill supporters have said the increase is needed because fewer and fewer people are using heating oil, instead switching to less costly fuels such as wood, propane and natural gas; the fund is nearly depleted.
The bill now goes to the governor.
Bar closing times
Bars may be able to stay open an hour longer after the Senate approved House Bill 575, which would allow a community to set closing time for bars at 2 a.m. instead of the current 1 a.m.
The bill will have to return to the House because of the Senate change.
Scuba divers will not be able to take five lobsters a day after the Senate killed House Bill 259.
The bill would have allowed the House-approved bill to allow scuba divers to take up to five lobsters a day during the month of September.
The Senate approved two bills that will change how the state Liquor Commission operates.
Problem children could receive services once provided under the Children in Need of Services program through a voluntary rather than court-ordered arrangement.
Under the bill, people who would have gone to court under the original program would first participate in the voluntary program, with services provided through the Department of Health and Human Services.
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