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Granite Staters split on NH minimum wage hike proposal
New Hampshire currently follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour but HB 1403 would establish a state minimum wage of $8.23 an hour and raise it to $9 within two years. It goes to the floor Thursday with a recommendation from the Senate Finance Committee that it not pass.
“I’m in favor of increasing minimum wage and I’ll speak to that when the bill comes before the Senate,” D’Allesandro said.
It can be difficult for those making minimum wage to cover basic needs, Brown said, and many will benefit from an increase.
At a local coffee shop, Bill Masse, of Bedford and Richard Chandonnais, of Manchester said the time has come to raise minimum wage.
“I think they ought to raise the minimum wage,” Masse said. “Half the people can’t live on what they’re making now.”
Mark Henniker, of Bedford, pointed out that federal legislators get a mandatory pay raise every year while many Americans face tax increases and inflation without a cost of living increase.
Dan Lieb, owner of The Original Martin’s House of Cloth in Bedford, was on board with the idea of increasing minimum wage given the cost of rent and other necessities.
Others take a different view. “I don’t agree that it should be passed,” said Lia Sicsai, of Merrimack.
The lunch crowd in downtown Goffstown felt that the minimum wage can’t be adjusted without considering how it affects small business and consumers.
“I think it’s a Catch 22,” said Sean Casewell, of Weare. “If you raise minimum wage you raise the cost of goods to cover it.”
“If you raise minimum wage there won’t be any 40-hour-a-week jobs,” Bissonnette said.
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