House, Senate swap minimum wage, prevailing wage bills

March 17, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Minimum wage workers in New Hampshire would get a boost under a bill that passed the House this week, while those hired for public works projects could earn more under a bill that passed the Senate.

New Hampshire doesn’t have a minimum wage and instead relies on the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. The bill passed by the House would set the minimum wage at $9.50 in 2020, $10.75 in 2021 and $12 in 2022. Supporters say lower wages leave families struggle to cover basic necessitates, while opponents argued it will lead to layoffs and reduced hours.

The Senate bill would require contractors on state public works projects to pay prevailing wages and benefits. Contractors complain that complying with the benefits and paperwork requirements that go along with the wage rules would be devastating.