New Hampshire Senate rejects minimum wage hike

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

The New Hampshire Senate has rebuffed a Democratic-led proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage in a vote that went along party lines.

On Thursday, the Republican-led Senate voted 14-10 to reject Senate Bill 136, which would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 on Jan. 1, 2022, and to $12 by Jan. 1, 2024.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfsboro, said the proposal would hurt businesses, cost jobs, “and adversely impact the people it is trying to help.”

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The proposal is one of several bills filed by Democrats seeking to raise New Hampshire’s stagnant minimum wage, none of which are advancing in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
New Hampshire currently does not have a state minimum wage. It defaults to the current federal rate of $7.25, which hasn’t been increased since 2009.

“Small to midsize businesses would be hurt the most because they would be forced to raise their prices to make up for additional labor costs and likely lay off employees,” Bradley said in a statement following the vote. “As our economy continues to get stronger as we come out of the pandemic, we want to create more job opportunities for Granite Staters, not less.”

But Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, the bill’s main sponsor, said the Senate’s rejection of the proposal sends a message that New Hampshire doesn’t care about its workers.

“People want to work, and they want to be able to provide for their families,” she said in a statement. “Sadly today’s vote represented a missed opportunity to help them do just that.”

Soucy said the state’s low wages are forcing workers to seek employment in other neighboring states, which is also hurting New Hampshire’s tax coffers.

The proposal is one of several bills filed by Democrats seeking to raise New Hampshire’s stagnant minimum wage, none of which are advancing in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

New Hampshire currently does not have a state minimum wage. It defaults to the current federal rate of $7.25, which hasn’t been increased since 2009.

Labor leaders back the changes, saying businesses have been taking advantage of New Hampshire’s low taxes and wages to the detriment of workers, as well as the state government.

But business groups say the move would hurt workers because companies would end up hiring fewer people to offset the increased payroll costs.

Congress was considering a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, but that provision was stripped from the bill before it landed on President Joe Biden’s desk. Biden had voiced support for raising the federal wage but acknowledged there was opposition to the plan among lawmakers.

Such a move would have forced New Hampshire to either accept the $15 per hour federal wage or pass legislation setting a state minimum wage.

A Congressional Budget Office report estimated that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would eliminate 1.4 million jobs, including 13,000 in New Hampshire.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/The All-Nite Images and Public domain
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2 thoughts on “New Hampshire Senate rejects minimum wage hike

  1. Boy is this female Sen. Donna Soucy clueless “Soucy said the state’s low wages are forcing workers to seek employment in other neighboring states, which is also hurting New Hampshire’s tax coffers”.

    According to people in the Dome legislature, people from VT are going to NH for jobs. Furthermore, Wallet Hub has stated that NH is in the top ten (10) states to retire to.

    I’ll bet this female is from close by MA. They have that simpleton woo-is-me attitude. The attitude is universal with Liberals. They want and vote for something that their little pea brain s can’t comprehend the resultant. She’s in that Liberal triangle of Portsmouth-Concord-Nashiua, a suburb of MA. Government has no right to control private business, they pay taxes and try to survive. And the state benefits.

    VT is full of them and look at the state political environment and heading. Thank god, NH is getting back to being Conservative.

  2. The question has remained the same over time immemorial: Today, how do these 10 NH legislators (and anyone else for that matter), voting to increase the minimum wage, rationalize their authority to determine what someone else should pay an employee? After all, these legislators are not only circumventing the rights of an employer, they’re over-ruling the rights of the employee as well – for both to decide whether to pay, or work for, a lesser wage or not work at all.

    This legislative hubris, according to Aristotle at least, is: “…the overweening presumption that leads a person to disregard the divinely fixed limits on human action in an ordered cosmos.”

    According to T. S. Eliot, it is that: “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

    How these legislators victimize us is best described in this condemning Aristotelian rhetoric: that they are “doing and saying things at which the victim incurs shame, not in order that one may achieve anything other than what is done, but simply to get pleasure from it.”

    May the NH legislators, as a whole, continue to resist the temptation to think well of themselves at the expense of others.

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