Bills Would Boost New Hampshire's Minimum Wage

Feb 19, 2013

Credit Flickr - Images of Money

  Several bills being considered by the House would boost the state’s minimum wage.

One would make it $9.25 an hour. Another would set it at $8 an hour and tie annual recalculations to the rate of inflation.

A House committee held a hearing on one proposal Tuesday that would increase minimum wage to $8.25 an hour.

Representative Tim Horrigan says his bill isn’t going to make anyone rich, but would help address income inequality.

“They would still be unable to support a family, at least not at the poverty level, but this is still a significant step up from the current rate of $7.25 an hour.”

New Hampshire’s relies on the federal minimum wage. That makes it the lowest rate in New England.

By comparison, Vermont’s minimum wage is $8.60 an hour. In Massachusetts, it’s $8 an hour.

The Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire is opposed to an increase. The association’s President Nancy Kyle surveyed members on the potential impact.

“We got time and time again from retailers saying I’d make do with less employees, I’d have less hours to offer. Retailers are working on a really narrow profit margin.”

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed increasing the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.