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The Fight Over A New NH Minimum Wage Is About To Begin

The NH House session has officially begun. This is where the fun begins.  One of the bills that I caught wind of at the end of last year is a proposed Minimum Wage change for New Hampshire.

HB 127

I. Adds a state minimum hourly wage.
II. Requires the commissioner of the department of labor to calculate the minimum wage in a manner that reflects the cost of living.
III. Requires a majority vote of the general court to approve such adjustment.

After deeper investigation the proposal by Rep Sullivan moves the NH Minimum Wage law up from the Federal Minimum to $8.00 per hour. Tipped employees would receive no less than 45% of the state minimum per hour.  

The proposal sets a bi-annual review of the minimum wage with increases set by the Consumer Price Index.

First I would like to say that I am happy to see that Rep Sullivan is already pushing for a higher minimum wage.  However, does this law go far enough?  Is $8.00 per hour really what we want to set the NH minimum wage at?

Right now, New Hampshire is the bottom of the barrel in minimum wage laws.  Massachusetts is already at $8.00 p/h. Vermont is at $8.60.  This is good, but I think we should push for more.

There is already a national push to move minimum wage to $10.00 an hour over the next two years.  The proposal was put in last session and failed to gain traction.

Minimum wage was supposed to be a living wage, not a wage you can barely exist on.  Most people who earn minimum wage have to work two jobs just to pay the bills.  This was not what the minimum wage laws were set for.

I think this bill is a good start and I expect to hear a lot of criticism from the ‘job creators’ on the right.  The fact is that other than restaurants and bars many small businesses are already paying higher than minimum wage so this increase will not effect them.  The biggest abuser of minimum wage laws are corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonalds for example. They are the ones who are holding wages down to maximize their profits.

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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.
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