Senate kills minimum wage increase
During the 90-minute debate, every Democrat spoke for House Bill 1403, all saying the increase would help those struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table, while helping to spur the economy.
“It’s a discouraging day to sit here and listen to what has truly become the war on employers,” said Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bradford. “We’re seeing tax after tax, fee after fee. There is only so much people can pay.”
The bill also would have re-established a state minimum wage, which lawmakers repealed three years ago, making the state rely on the federal law.
“Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage would strengthen our economy and support businesses by putting more money in the pockets of their consumers,” Hassan said. “People working full-time in New Hampshire should be paid enough to support their families, and I will continue fighting to restore and improve our state minimum wage in order to boost our economy and strengthen the economic security of thousands of Granite Staters,”
“A 24 percent increase on small employers would have dampened the demand for workers and that’s not good economic policy,” said Bruce Berke, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “We want to increase the demand for labor and we want to expand opportunities for low-skilled workers to break into the workforce and work their way up. This would have accomplished exactly the opposite.”
“President Obama has been to the region to push for a higher minimum wage and the issue has gotten a lot of national and local attention,” said Berke. “It took real courage to stand up to that.”
“We need to get New Hampshire’s economy growing again. We don’t need feel-good legislation that will hurt the people it claims to help,” Bragdon said. “Let’s get young people into the workforce, and starting up the economic ladder.”
“We live in a state with close to the highest per-capita income in the nation,” Gilmour said, “yet we have the lowest minimum wage in New England.”