Republican Members of Senate Commerce Committee Reject Attempt to Raise Minimum Wage

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3375

Email: marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us


CONCORD – This morning, Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee voted to

Interim Study SB 203, a bill that would have modestly and incrementally increased New

Hampshire’s minimum wage, which has not been increased in over a decade and is among the

lowest in the country. Prime sponsor, Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester)

has consistently championed raising the minimum wage for New Hampshire, and this is the 10th

time in 10 years Senate Republicans have voted against any proposal to increase the wage. The

bill will now go before the full Senate for a vote.


After the vote, prime sponsor Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester)

issued the following statement:


“It is both disappointing and frustrating that my Republican colleagues have once again rejected

any attempt to even modestly increase the minimum wage for New Hampshire’s lowest earners.

New Hampshire’s minimum wage ranges from $5 to $7 less per hour than every other New

England state, leaving us unable to compete with our neighboring states. In fact, we are one of

just 15 states across the country with the lowest minimum wage. Currently, New Hampshire

doesn’t even set a minimum wage, and instead allows Washington, D.C. to set it at $7.25 an

hour.


Low wages that place people below the federal poverty level lead to the provision of government

subsidies, i.e. taxpayers subsidize those businesses that don’t pay a living wage, and as a result,

people are entitled to and rely upon government assistance just to make ends meet. By not setting

a living minimum wage, we are ensuring that the government will have to step in and provide for

those families.


I find it particularly disheartening that just last year, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle

enthusiastically phased out the Interest & Dividends tax—49% of which was paid by the top

2.4% wealthiest Granite Staters. I don’t know how they can justify providing financial relief to

the wealthiest among us but can’t pass a modest increase in the minimum wage that stands to

financially stabilize those living at the poverty level. Despite today’s vote, I will not be deterred

in continuing to fight for a livable wage for Granite Staters.”


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