Yesterday, Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) introduced SB 83 to re-establish the NH minimum wage and increase it to $12 per hour. Senator Soucy released the following comments after introduction of the bill:
“New Hampshire ended 2016 with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. But when it comes to ensuring decent wages for our workers, New Hampshire is far from first,” said Senator Soucy. “Our minimum wage has not been increased in almost a decade, and in 2011, the Republican-led legislature eliminated our state minimum wage altogether. Paying decent wages is a good investment for our economy. We know that well-paid workers are better employees and better customers, spending money on previously unaffordable basic needs and services; their spending helps sustain our businesses and our economy. That’s why a growing number of states are passing legislation to increase pay to their workers.”
“A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute showed that by raising our minimum wage to $12 per hour, 141,000 Granite Staters would be positively affected by this increase,” added Senator Soucy, prime sponsor of the bill. “People working full-time in New Hampshire should be able to earn enough to support their families, not qualify for public assistance. They must be confident in their own financial circumstances in order to expand our economy. Increasing the minimum wage is a critical step forward we can take to support our working families and continue growing our economy. I urge the Senate Commerce Committee to support SB 83, as it is critical to the well-being of our economy, businesses, and families.”
“We all know that a decent minimum wage means more money in the pockets of families and more money in the cash registers of local businesses,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “Raising the wage is a win-win situation for our whole economy and we strongly encourage the Senate to support it.”
UPDATE: The bill would raise the minimum wage to $12 over the next two years. Text of bill is here.