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Senate passes bill to raise New Hampshire’s minimum wage

March 21, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Senate on Thursday passed a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage.

The bill, which passed 14-10, would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2020 and $11 or $12 an hour in 2021, depending on additional benefits provided by employers, such as paid sick days. The bill also would set the tipped minimum wage at $4 an hour, with workers making below the new minimum wage with tips being compensated for the difference by their employer.

The House passed its own bill last week that would set the minimum wage at $9.50 in 2020, $10.75 in 2021 and $12 in 2022. Democrats control both chambers.

The state relies on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the lowest in New England. The Legislature stripped New Hampshire’s minimum wage law from the books in 2011.

Senate President Donna Soucy, a Democrat from Manchester who’s introduced a similar measure for years, said ”$7.25 wasn’t a fair wage in 2009 and it certainly isn’t a fair wage in 2019.”

Republican Leader Chuck Morse, of Salem, said states and cities that have raised their minimum wage have seen the number of jobs decline and the take-home pay for low-wage workers decrease due to reduced hours.

“Creating a strong economy will always be a more effective way to raise workers take-home pay than mandating minimum wages,” he said.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has said he does not support a state minimum wage higher that would exceed the federal rate.

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