Business and Economy
4:41 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Minimum Wage Debate To Return To N.H. State House

The debate over the minimum wage will return to the state house this session.  A proposal to reestablish a state minimum wage failed last year in the Republican-controlled state Senate.  This session, Democrats hope to set a state minimum wage at $8.25 an hour

One of the state’s largest unions, the AFL-CIO, has come out in favor of the proposal.  Campaign Coordinator Judy Stadtman says, “It’s going to have immediate benefits for thousands of New Hampshire families.” 

Bruce Berke, the state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, opposes the wage hike.  He says most workers already make more than that.

“You have a market at work here in New Hampshire that is creating a wage base that is higher than the minimum wage," Berke says.  "And if you increase the minimum wage, you’re just going to increase those pressures upward on the entire wage structure.”

New Hampshire’s minimum wage has been tied to the federal standard of $7.25 an hour since 2011. 

The US Department of Labor reports New Hampshire is among 19 states that matches the federal wage.  This month, increases above the federal level went into effect in more than a dozen states.  That brings the total to 20 states that are above the federal standard.