Minimum Wage

Lawmakers’ most recent attempt at establishing a state minimum wage this legislation session failed in the House Thursday morning. The measure, which was rejected by a vote of 185 to 143, would have increased the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2019.

Currently New Hampshire’s minimum wage is set at the federal rate of $7.25 an hour, making it the lowest minimum wage in all of New England.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

This legislative session there are two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, seeking to establish a state minimum wage, something New Hampshire nixed in 2011.

Currently New Hampshire’s minimum wage is set at the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. The Senate bill, which had a public hearing on Tuesday, wants to up that to $12. This nearly five dollar jump was something many in the business community were opposed to. 

yogendra1989 / Flickr/CC

Several bills address the minimum wage this legislative season, including one to increase it gradually and exclude workers under age eighteen – a provision some say could bolster bipartisan support. But concerns remain about unintended consequences, especially among small businesses owners.

GUESTS:

NHPR Staff

A proposal to increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2019 goes before a House committee Tuesday.

The bill would re-establish a state a minimum wage, setting it at $8.25 next year.

New Hampshire lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011, and the state has since deferred to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

That’s the lowest minimum wage in New England.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/5856886727/">Images of Money </a> / Flickr

The new legislative session kicked off last week, as lawmakers began the process of again sifting through the hundreds of new bills.

Many of these proposals would affect New Hampshire’s business community, including raising the state’s minimum wage, an issue that hasn’t gone anywhere in the past.

But could there be a spirit of compromise this year?

Jeff Feingold is editor of New Hampshire Business Review.

He joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about the new legislative session.

Cities and Counties Take Action on Minimum Wage

Sep 8, 2015
Pyogenes Gruffer / Flickr/CC

Recently, cities and counties have taken the lead on mandating much higher pay for traditional low-wage jobs, instead of waiting for the states or the federal government.  Supporters say these increases are long overdue and only fair, but others warn of unintended consequences, including job losses and cutbacks in hours.

 Guests:

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate have killed bills Thursday that would have established a higher state minimum wage.

The House’s measure, which was rejected in a 198 to 145 vote, would have raised the minimum wage to $9.10 by next year -- tacking on nearly $7 by 2018.

Meanwhile in a 14-10 vote the Senate rejected to increase the hourly rate by $8.25  by next January – reaching $10 by 2018.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 will remain in place. Currently 29 other states have higher minimum wages. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would set the state’s minimum wage at $8.25 an hour next year will go before a Senate committee Tuesday.

Under the bill backed by seven Democratic state Senators, the increased minimum wage would take effect at the beginning of 2016.

The bill calls for further increases to $9 an hour in 2017 and $10 an hour in 2018.

Under Republican leadership, lawmakers repealed the state’s minimum wage in 2011.

The New Hampshire Senate has killed a bill that would have set the state minimum wage at $8.25 next year and increase it to $9 in 2016.

Governor Maggie Hassan is urging Senate lawmakers to increase the state’s minimum wage.

In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee, Governor Hassan writes that boosting the rate would accelerate the state’s economic growth.

“Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage will help our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard-working people of all ages to spend at businesses across the state,” writes Hassan.

Truthout.org / Flickr

The Senate Finance committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill that aims to boost New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

A multi-state bus tour echoing President Barack Obama’s push to raise the national minimum wage stopped in the Granite State this morning.

The minimum wage would go up a dollar to $8.25 an hour next year under a bill approved by the Democratically-controlled House. The measure, which passed 173-118, increases the wage to $9 in 2016, and starting in 2017, ties it to the inflation rate.

Supporters say the move helps the working poor.

Opponents argue increasing the wage will hurt business and reduce employment. The measure faces an uphill fight in the GOP-held Senate.

Right now, New Hampshire doesn’t have its own minimum wage, and relies on the federal rate of $7.25. 

In her State of the State address today, Governor Maggie Hassan called on state lawmakers to restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

The state Legislature in 2011 eliminated the state minimum wage and defaulted to the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, agrees the minimum wage should be raised, but knows the debate will be a long and difficult one.

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

Jan 7, 2014

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

INFOGRAPHIC: Minimum Wage In N.H.

Jan 7, 2014

Some stats surrounding the minimum wage debate in New Hampshire:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/04/5-facts-about-the-minimum-wage/ / Pew Research Center

As more states increase their minimum wages beyond the federal level, New Hampshire’s has remained at the same at seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour. Now, some state lawmakers want to raise it, saying it will help lift workers out of poverty and boost the economy. Opponents though, warn of unintended consequences, including layoffs and slower job growth.

GUESTS:

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

More than a dozen protesters lined up in front of a Manchester McDonald’s to take part in a national effort to raise the federal minimum wage.


Senate Votes To Table Minimum Wage Bill

Mar 7, 2013

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to table a plan to reinstate a state minimum wage at the same level as the federal wage of $7.25.