NH labor leaders to take up minimum wage hike fight
Lawmakers abolished the state’s minimum wage law in 2011, but state law holds that no employee shall be paid at an hourly rate lower than the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.
In 2014, 21 states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
New Hampshire is one of 19 states where the “minimum wage” is the same as the federal rate.
State Rep. Carol McGuire, R-Epsom, sponsored the 2011 bill removing a state minimum wage from the books. She said that she is not surprised that organized labor is trying again to shepherd a minimum wage bill through legislative channels.
“I do believe it’s a job killer,” McGuire said.
Lawmakers three years ago heard testimony that many employers in New Hampshire pay hourly wages higher than the federal minimum.
The state of Washington has the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.32 an hour. In March 2013, a national Gallup poll found 71 percent support for increasing the federal rate to $9 an hour; Republicans surveyed in that poll were split.
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