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NH Senate Passes Bill To Expand Renewable Energy In NH

Rooftop Solar Panels (Elliott Brown FLIKR)

Rooftop Solar Panels (Elliott Brown FLIKR)

Bill will allow New Hampshire to continue to expand renewable energy by raising the cap on net metering

Senate Democrats praised the passage of legislation to ensure the growth of renewable energy in New Hampshire during today’s Senate session. SB 333 raises the cap on group net metering and SB 378 ensures that space under the group net metering cap is being taken up only by those who are participating in the program, not speculators trying to game the system. 

“Passage of this critical legislation is great not only for our growing renewable energy market, but also for our economy and all electric ratepayers,” said Sen. Molly Kelly, author of the original group net metering law enacted in 2013. “Even though we have only had group net metering for a few years, renewable energy, particularly the solar market, has exploded across New Hampshire thanks to this program. It is critical for us to raise the cap to ensure the sustained growth of solar and other renewable energy sources here in New Hampshire that not only save Granite Staters money, but sustains thousands of good-paying jobs.”

“In the rapidly-growing renewable energy market, making changes to a vital program like group net metering is no easy task. But SB 333 and SB 378 offer meaningful progress to allow our renewable energy market to grow,” said Sen. Dan Feltes, member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I urge our colleagues in the House to move quickly to pass SB 333 and SB 378 to continue the growth of renewable energy and our green job sector.”

“It was only a year ago that utilities testified that they were nowhere near the metering cap,” said Sen. Donna Soucy, prime sponsor of SB 378. “But the market has grown so rapidly that we needed to address the group net metering cap as soon as possible, as we did with SB 333. Part of the reason why we reached the cap so quickly was due to speculative developers taking up space under the cap while not yet providing service to customers. SB 378 addresses these concerns and ensures that families and businesses that the program was designed to benefit can take advantage of this rapidly-growing market.”

Governor Maggie Hassan also praised the passage of SB 333.

“Solar is one of many clean energy resources in New Hampshire that contributes to a diverse and reliable energy supply, and businesses and families across the state are utilizing solar to lower their energy bills and to increase their energy independence. The success of New Hampshire’s clean energy economy is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change, and New Hampshire recently ranked as one of the top-five renewable energy states,” stated Hassan. 

“We must continue to build on this progress, and lifting the cap on net metering is essential to those efforts. I commend the Senate for its bipartisan vote to pass this critical measure, and I encourage the House to take similar action as quickly as possible so that we can continue our efforts to build a more innovative and more affordable energy future,” added Hassan. 

Governor Hassan Urges House Committee to Oppose Legislation Prohibiting State Implementation of Clean Power Plan

CONCORD – Continuing her efforts to protect the environment and to ensure that New Hampshire remains a leader in combating climate change, Governor Maggie Hassan today sent a letter to the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee in opposition to House Bill 1659, relative to the implementation of the clean power state implementation plan, which would prohibit a state implementation plan. 

“New Hampshire has long been a leader in combating climate change and cutting carbon emissions,” Governor Hassan wrote. “Through programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), our state and region have reduced harmful emissions, created jobs, and encouraged innovation across our clean energy economy. The Clean Power Plan is an important step forward at the national level to address carbon emissions and climate change, and it is equally important that New Hampshire develop its own plan that meets our state’s needs, as opposed to having a plan imposed on us by the federal government.” 

As a State Senator, Governor Hassan sponsored New Hampshire’s original Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) legislation, which has brought numerous benefits to the Granite State, including reducing harmful emissions and helping to reduce energy costs, create jobs and encourage innovation in the state’s clean-energy economy. She also helped enact the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law and consistently fights for clean air and water.

As Governor, she has signed bipartisan legislation to help maximize the benefits of RGGI for New Hampshire ratepayers, to update the RPS law and to establish a long-term New Hampshire Energy Strategy. New Hampshire also joined the Under 2 MOU in October 2015, a global compact among cities, states and provinces worldwide that supports the state’s efforts to combat climate change. 

“At a time when we need to continue the progress we have made to reduce power plant emissions, to reduce our energy usage, and to reduce risks and prepare for the impacts of climate change, this legislation would pull us backward,” Governor Hassan wrote. “Instead, we should focus on creating a robust state implementation plan that will continue our important work to combat climate change, and keep the planning process in the State’s hands.” 

In November 2015, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office joined 24 states, cities and counties in filing a motion to intervene to defend the Clean Power Plan.

The full text of the Governor’s letter to the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee is below.


February 2, 2016

The Honorable Robert Introne

Chairman, House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee

Legislative Office Building, Room 304

Concord, New Hampshire 03301

 

Dear Chairman Introne and Members of the Committee:

I write to you today in opposition to HB1659, a bill that would prohibit the Department of Environmental Services from expending funds to develop or implement a state implementation plan under the Clean Power Plan.

New Hampshire has long been a leader in combating climate change and cutting carbon emissions. Through programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), our state and region have reduced harmful emissions, created jobs, and encouraged innovation across our clean energy economy. The Clean Power Plan is an important step forward at the national level to address carbon emissions and climate change, and it is equally important that New Hampshire develop its own plan that meets our state’s needs, as opposed to having a plan imposed on us by the federal government.

At a time when we need to continue the progress we have made to reduce power plant emissions, to reduce our energy usage, and to reduce risks and prepare for the impacts of climate change, this legislation would pull us backward. Instead, we should focus on creating a robust state implementation plan that will continue our important work to combat climate change, and keep the planning process in the State’s hands.

From our mountains to our lakes to our beautiful seacoast, New Hampshire’s natural resources are critical to our economy and define us as a state. Addressing climate change and the harmful impacts of carbon emissions are economic imperatives. We must continue to work to address these issues while ensuring that we have the tools to invest in new energy resources as we develop our own plan to implement the Clean Power Plan.

I respectfully urge you to vote this legislation inexpedient to legislate. Thank you for your consideration.

With every good wish,

Margaret Wood Hassan

Governor

 

 

Senator Andrew Hosmer Introduces a Bill to Reduce Child Care Costs

Children in preschool (Flickr US Army)

Children in preschool (Flickr US Army)

For too many working families the cost of child care has become unbearable. The Boston Globe reports that the average annual cost of child care in New Hampshire is between $11,000 and $15,000.  Given that a full time minimum wage earner in New Hampshire only make $15,050 per year and that the average tipped worker makes even less ($14,000) how can they possibly afford to pay the high cost of child care.

This creates a double edged sword. Parents must work more hours to pay for child care, which results in higher child care costs and less time with their children.  Parents should not be forced to work just to pay their child care expenses.

Today, Senator Andrew Hosmer (D- Laconia) introduced SB 511, establishing a refund of a portion of state education property taxes for child and dependent care expenses.

Following the Senate Ways and Means public hearing on SB 511, Senator Hosmer released the following comments: 

“One of the largest costs for families is child care and this legislation starts helping to reduce that cost. I firmly believe that if we can afford to give businesses tax breaks we certainly afford to help our hard working families,” said Senator Hosmer. “This legislation is part of a public-private partnership that supports working families by reducing the costs of child care, but also good for businesses by helping them retain good employees who might otherwise have to choose between working and taking care of their children.” 

22 states have already adopted a similar supplement to the Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. If SB 511 passes, families who claim the Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit would be eligible for a property tax refund of 50% of the federal amount. 

“New Hampshire’s working families need the state government to be responsive to the rising costs of child care services. I urge the Ways and Means Committee to pass SB 511, as it is imperative to provide access to affordable child care to our Granite Staters.”

Making child care more affordable is only one step we can take to help lift people out of poverty and strengthen our economy.  We must also raise the minimum wage so that workers will have more money to spend in our local economy. We must also pass a “paid sick leave” bill so that parents are not forced between having to work or taking care of their sick child. We must also reauthorize the state’s Medicaid Expansion program to ensure these low-income families are protected from catastrophic injury and have routine checkups to maintain their health.

Senator Bette Lasky Introduces Bill To Authorize Online Voter Registration

CONCORD- Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) introduced SB 507, which would establish online voter registration for New Hampshire voters. Following the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee public hearing on SB 507, Sen. Lasky released the following comments:

“Allowing our citizens to register to vote online would help create a more accessible system and increase the number of citizens exercising one of their most important rights,” said Senator Lasky. “As the First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary state, New Hampshire needs to continually move forward as technology advances and be an example to the rest of the country.” 

Twenty-three states currently use online voter registration. Five more states will implement it this year, bringing that number to 28 by 2017.

“New Hampshire has built a strong reputation for voter participation, but we can always do more to help busy Granite Staters take part in our elections. Its 2016– we can pay our taxes, utility bills, and bank online. Why shouldn’t we be able to register to vote or update our voter registration online? I urge my fellow committee members to support this common sense legislation to move our voter registration system into the 21st century.”

Democratic Senators Introduce Minimum Wage Increase And Profit Sharing Legislation

Senator Soucy Introduces NH Minimum Wage Bill 

CONCORD – Today, Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) introduced SB 412, which establishes the NH minimum wage at $12 per hour.

Following the Senate Finance Committee public hearing on SB 412, Sen. Soucy released the following comments: 

Paying decent wages is a good investment for our economy,” said Senator Soucy. “Well-paid workers are better employees and better customers; their spending helps sustain our businesses and our economy. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is 4th lowest in the nation, which is why even companies like Wal-Mart have recognized the benefits of raising wages in order to retain workers at their stores.” 

Wal-Mart recently announced that as of February 1, the average full-time employee at their NH stores will be paid $14.29 an hour and the average part-time employee will be paid $10.95 an hour. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate for December 2015, announced earlier this morning, was announced 3.1%.

A 2014 NH Fiscal Policy Institute report shows that 72% of the New Hampshire minimum wage workers, who would directly or indirectly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are age 20 and older with nearly 40% being 30 and older. Fifty-nine percent are women and 14% are parents.

“This legislation will strengthen financial security for hard working Granite Staters and expand opportunity for more than 76,000 people who would have been affected by raising the minimum wage. I urge the Senate Finance Committee to support SB 412, as it is critical to the well-being of our economy, businesses, and families.” 


Sen. David Pierce Introduces Legislation to Reward Businesses Who Share Profits with Employees

Legislation would create a tax credit for businesses who implement profit sharing 

Concord, NH – Today, Senator David Pierce (D-Lebanon) introduced SB 479, which creates a tax credit for implementing employee profit sharing. Following the Senate Ways and Means Committee public hearing on SB 479, Sen. Pierce released the following comments:

“As our economy continues to improve and business profits rising, we need to ensure that workers see their wages rise,” said Senator Pierce. “Profit-sharing gives everyone a stake in a company’s success, boosts productivity, and puts more money directly into employee’s pockets. This legislation is good for workers and good for businesses.”

Senate Bill 479 creates a tax credit against the business taxes for companies who implement employee profit-sharing. Under this legislation, the tax credit would be available for each qualified employee of up to 15 percent of the compensation paid as profits in which employees share. There would also be a cap of 10 percent of the employee’s wages.

“As we have seen in companies like Market Basket and others across our state that share profits with their employees, workers are more invested in the company’s success because they see a financial incentive. Employee-profit sharing is a practice we should be encouraging in our state and rewarding businesses for implementing a profit-sharing plan supports both our workers and businesses.”

(featured image from @OFA_NH pic.twitter.com/ZG7B0GfERQ)

Kelly Ayotte (Again) Is Only New England Senator To Oppose Clean Water Protections

waves water lake by -jonathan-beanCONCORD – As Kelly Ayotte continues her undisguised attempt to mislead Granite Staters about her record of voting to undermine New Hampshire’s environment and beautiful natural resources, Ayotte voted this morning to oppose efforts to protect clean drinking water for millions of Americans. Ayotte was the only New England Senator to oppose these important clean water protections.

Try as she might to fool voters, Ayotte’s dismal environmental record speaks loud and clear: Ayotte has voted with the Koch Brothers 94% of the time on the environment, including voting multiple times to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and voting to block the Environmental Protection Agency from ever having the ability to reduce greenhouse gases. And Ayotte’s record has earned her a lifetime score of 23% from the League of Conservation Voters – even worse than Scott Brown’s lifetime score of 38%.

“It’s deeply troubling that Kelly Ayotte was the only New England Senator to vote against against important efforts to preserve our beautiful natural resources and protect clean drinking water for millions of Americans,” said Maggie for NH Communications Director Aaron Jacobs. “But siding with corporate special interests over New Hampshire’s environment is nothing new for Ayotte, who has fought to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and votes with the Koch Brothers 94% of the time on environmental issues.” 

“Governor Maggie Hassan has always been a strong champion for New Hampshire’s environment, and in the Senate, she will fight to put the Granite State’s beautiful natural resources first, not special interests,” added Jacobs. 

On 43rd Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade, NH Health Providers Push Back On War On Women’s Health

Women Protesting Roe vs Wade

NH’s Women’s Health Providers and Advocates Push Back
Against Assault on Women’s Health in 2016
Sixteen Separate Bills Form Broad Agenda to Ban Abortion

Concord, NH — Women’s health providers, patients and advocates from across the state gathered in Concord this afternoon to sound an alarm about the unprecedented number of attacks on women’s health introduced in the 2016 legislative session. “As women’s health providers and advocates for reproductive health and freedom we are united to defeat this broad agenda to ban abortion and eliminate reproductive care,” stated Jennifer Frizzell of Planned Parenthood, on behalf of the group of allies.

This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Extreme anti-women’s health lawmakers are using the occasion to kick off public hearings for a package of legislation that would make the constitutional protections of Roe meaningless for New Hampshire women and families.

“For more than forty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that under Roe v. Wade, the constitution protects every woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions about abortion. Yet some politicians in New Hampshire have made it clear with this year’s legislative agenda that they will stop at nothing to end access to safe, legal abortion,” said Devon Chafee Executive Director of the ACLU of NH.

This agenda is at odds with recent polls that show support for access to safe, legal abortion is higher in New Hampshire than any other state in the country and that more Republicans here consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life on issues like abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood.

Despite the views and values of their constituents, a handful of extreme Republicans continue their assault on women’s health care. They have introduced a legislative package consisting of 16 bills that aim at dismantling women’s preventive care and ending access to safe, legal abortion.

 “Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will not back down from these ruthless political attacks. The extremist legislators forcing this agenda are putting women’s lives and health in danger. The stakes for women’s health and rights are higher than ever this year.  These restrictions are part of a broader national agenda to end access to safe, legal abortion. And this is not what the people of New Hampshire want from their elected officials,” stated Jennifer Frizzell, VP for Public Policy at the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund.  “At Planned Parenthood, we will stand up to this dangerous legislation on behalf of the women, men and young people whose health and well-being is at stake and we will not shut our doors,” continued Frizzell.

According to new data from Guttmacher, politicians across the country have enacted 288 restrictions on safe, legal abortion at the state level since the 2010 midterm elections–despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion. In New Hampshire, a group of extreme politicians have introduced a devastating legislative package consisting of 16 bills that aim at dismantling women’s health.

New Hampshire has a strong tradition of respecting women and doctors, not politicians, to make personal, private decisions about pregnancy and childbearing. Additionally, the Granite State currently has some of the best public health outcomes in the country for women, including the lowest teen pregnancy rate, and the best perinatal and maternal health outcomes. The anti-women’s health legislation introduced in 2016 would jeopardize care for New Hampshire women and reduce access for New Hampshire communities.

“Having access to the tools necessary to support choices around childbearing reduces unintended pregnancies, helps women space their childbearing, and leads to healthier babies and women.  By taking those services away, New Hampshire legislators would be creating substantial risk that women will face the serious mental and physical health risks of being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, or resort to unsafe abortions,” stated Katie Robert, President of the NH Public Health Association.

“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, providers like the Concord Feminist Health Center are speaking out against politicians who would take us backwards and make it impossible to get safe and legal abortion. We simply can’t let that happen in New Hampshire,” concluded Dalia Vidunas, Executive Director.

Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion and Planned Parenthood health centers. Since July, there have been 14 national polls measuring support for Planned Parenthood–and every single one of them show strong support for Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive health care. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion and agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. A VOX/PerryUndem poll found that more Americans now consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials don’t want to see Roe overturned, and 72 percent of Republicans think abortion should be available.

The landmark Roe v Wade decision issued on January 22, 1973.

(Featured image is from today in history)

NH Citizens Alliance Testifies For Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage

The Executive Director Of The NH Citizens Alliance Makes The Case For Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage

NH Citizens Alliance

Yesterday Kary Jencks testified to the NH House Labor committee in support of HB 1346 a bill to eliminate the tipped minimum wage.  Below is her written testimony to the committee:

Submitted Testimony To The NH House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee, January 19th, 2016.

Kary Jencks

Kary Jencks

Organization Background: New Hampshire Citizens Alliance (NHCA) is a 501(c)3 state wide non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to social, economic, racial, and political justice. Our membership comprises over 20,000 Granite Staters from both sides of the aisle. After nearly 40 years NH Citizens Alliance continues to lead the movement for social and economic justice in the Granite State. We focus on creating a more engaged electorate through issue education, leadership development and voter engagement and mobilization. We work on local, state, and federal issues and have built a strong reputation for advocating for policies that invest in people over profits, including access to quality, affordable health care and smart budget investments.

Central to our work is a women’s economic justice framework. This is because women are central to our families and our economy. We know that more women than ever are working outside the home, heading households and leading in the workplace. Therefore, we must take action now to ensure that women have equal rights and receive fair treatment on the job, in health care and in the new economy.

Instead of limiting reproductive rights, voting rights and protecting outdated workplace policies that discriminate against women, our priority in New Hampshire is to guarantee full and fair opportunities for women in the new economy and take care of their families.

NHCA Testimony in SUPPORT of HB 1346:

  • New Hampshire must begin to Stand with the women and families who are working hard every day trying to meet the basic needs of their children. In the restaurant industry this scenario is especially true for women where nationally 66% of tipped workers are women and 21% of tipped workers in New Hampshire are parents.
  • Since the majority of tipped waged workers are women and mothers providing for their families, paying them a sub-minimum wage is supporting legislated pay inequity thus perpetuating the gender equity gap. New Hampshire can do better for working women and their families.
  • Furthermore, sub-minimum wage requires tipped workers to garner the bulk of their wages from gratuities. This system often results in women having to simply “shut up and put up” with harassment on the job to secure their income. The restaurant industry accounts for 37% of sexual harassment claims. New Hampshire can do better for working women and stop supporting the view that sexual harassment is a huge Human Resource issue in every other work setting except in the restaurant industry where it is viewed as “part of the job.”
  • Tipped workers live in poverty at more than twice the rate of the workforce in New Hampshire. This results in 7% of New Hampshire tipped restaurant workers using food stamps and an $8,731,054 annual cost to New Hampshire tax payers of tipped restaurant workers in New Hampshire relying on food stamps and Medicaid. Meanwhile the House will soon debate how to cover much needed reauthorization of Medicaid expansion. The biggest issue for reauthorization is the 10% of the total cost the state of New Hampshire will be required to cover. Let’s pay our workers the worth of their jobs and move New Hampshire women and families off of public assistance; saving our tax payer dollars and in turn allowing our state to cover its 10% share to provide critical health coverage to those who need it most.
  • Please Stand with Women and New Hampshire Families and vote HB 1346 Ought to Pass.

Thank you for your time and dedication to New Hampshire.

Sincerely,

Kary Jencks, Executive Director – NHCA

 

Passing A Prevailing Wage Law Help Ensure Our Tax Dollars Go To Local Workers

 

(Image MidtownCrosing FLIKR)

(Image MidtownCrosing FLIKR)

Without a Prevailing Wage Law our local economy is losing millions to out-of-state contractors

Paying taxes is a fact of life. How we spend our tax dollars can make a big difference in our state and local economy.   We need to do more to ensure that the tax dollars spent to rebuild our local infrastructure are also benefiting local companies and local workers.

We can accomplish both by passing a state prevailing wage law. A prevailing wage law ensures that employers are paying workers what local workers, doing the same job, would make.

It may sound a little confusing but it is actually very simple. A prevailing wage law ensures that an electrician working on a project gets paid what other electricians in New Hampshire are making, not what an electrician from South Carolina is paid.

As we all know the cost of living varies by region and so to do the wages. Over the past few decades we have seen more and more, out-of-state construction companies, come into New Hampshire to do work on state construction projects. These out-of-state companies are bringing in their own workers at sub-standard rates and then take no only our jobs but then take our tax dollars with them when they leave.

Shouldn’t our state government work to ensure that our tax dollars are going to local workers not some cut rate out-of-state corporation?

By passing a prevailing wage law, New Hampshire would create upwards of 1,700 more jobs and would infuse $7.3 million in additional revenue from state and local taxes.

Over the next two years the State of New Hampshire is will be spending $94 million on state funded public works projects. A prevailing wage would ensure that all of that $94 million spent would stay right here in New Hampshire and help the local construction industry regain some of the jobs lost from the great recession.


If you support the passage of a New Hampshire prevailing wage law, come to Concord on Tuesday, January, 19th at 10am in Reps Hall of the State House.

Even if you do not want to speak on behalf of this proposed legislation please come and “sign in” that you are in favor of this legislation.

Having people in the audience during the hearing helps to show that we support our tax dollars going to local businesses and local workers.

Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage, Helps To Close The Gender Wage Gap And Boost Economy

( Image by John Bastoen FLICKR CC)

( Image by John Bastoen FLICKR CC)

Research shows that eliminating the tipped minimum wage will generate billions to the national economy.

On Tuesday January 19th the New Hampshire House of Representative will be holding public commentary on HB 1346, a bill to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. If passed New Hampshire would join the seven other states including California, Montana and Minnesota who have already eliminated the tipped minimum wage in an effort to raise the wages of workers, mostly women, who are struggling to support their families.

As if the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in most states is not bad enough, 43 states have a special, sub-minimum wage for restaurant and tipped workers. The majority of these states have kept their tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour. New Hampshire is slightly better at $3.27 an hour or 45% of the minimum wage.

The sub-minimum wage was created to allow employers to pay newly freed slaves a lower wage than white workers, creating an instant racial-economic gap.

Working for tips is not the lucrative career some might imply. Opponents of raising the tipped minimum wage, especially the “Other NRA,” the National Restaurant Association, like to highlight servers who work in high-dollar restaurants making over a thousand dollars a week in tips.

The truth is the overwhelming majority of tipped workers work in places like Applebee’s and IHOP, where sales and tips are low, not high dollar establishments.

Nationally the average income for a tipped restaurant workers is $14,596, just below what a full time minimum wage worker would earn annually.   In New Hampshire it is even worse. The average tipped restaurant worker in New Hampshire earns $13,012 a year.

Here are just of few of the facts about tipped restaurant workers here in New Hampshire (US averages in parenthesizes):

  • 51% of tipped restaurant workers are older than 25 (66% nationally and 25% are above 45 years of age).
  • 81% of tipped restaurant workers are women (66% nationally).
  • 25% of the tipped restaurant workers are working moms (31% nationally).
  • 7% of tipped restaurant workers use food stamps, costing taxpayers $8,731,954 in public assistance [Food Stamps and Medicare].

Another myth about eliminating the tipped minimum wage, perpetuated by “the Other NRA,” is that eliminating the tipped minimum wage will destroy the local restaurant industry. The fact is that the seven states that eliminated the tipped minimum wage and raised their state’s minimum wage are now doing better those states with a sub-minimum wage.

States that have eliminated the minimum wage are growing at a rate of 10.5% annually. This is a full 1.5% higher than the average of the other 43 states at 9%.

Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder of the ROC United and Director of Food Labor Research at Berkley recently opined why we should completely move away from tipping.

“It (tipping) has created a two-tiered wage system with deep social and economic consequences for millions.”

Because workers in the restaurant industry are forced to rely on tips to survive the industry is rife with sexual harassment.

“Women restaurant workers living off tips in states where the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour are twice as likely to experience sexual harassment as women in states that pay the same minimum wage to all workers,” stated ROC United.

The wage gap between men and women has become one of the hot button issues of the year and one of the easiest ways to help reduce the gender wage gap is to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. Not only will it help women close the gender wage gap it will boost sales and generate billions to the economy.

Eliminating the tipped minimum wage and raising the minimum wage to $12 would result in an economic stimulus of an estimated $19.4 billion that would go right back into our local economy.   ROC United is working to eliminate the tipped minimum wage nationally and making this economic boost a reality.

The public hearing on this bill is Tusday. For more information on this or to get involved in the campaign to end the tipped minimum wage contact Sheila Vargas at sheila@granitestateprogress.org. 

Just in case you need one more reason why we should eliminate the tipped minimum wage listen to Adam from College Humor explain why tipping should be banned.

 

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