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Senate kills minimum wage increase on party-line vote

CONCORD &#-; A hotly contested Senate debate, followed by a party-line 13-11 vote, ended any possibility of the minimum wage rising in New Hampshire next year.Senators debated the merits of House Bill 1403 for an hour and a half with Democrats saying working people&#';s labor deserves the dignity of a livable wage, while one Republican called the bill part of the “war on employers.”The bill would have raised the minimum wage in New Hampshire from the federally set $7.25 an hour to $8.25 an hour Jan. 1, 2015, and to $9 a year later. After that, the wage would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.Both Gov. Maggie Hassan and House Speaker Terie Norelli decried the Senate&#';s action, but conservative activists and business groups praised the bill&#';s demise.

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