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Governor Hassan Calls On Senate To Increase Minimum Wage

Governor Maggie Hassan is urging Senate lawmakers to increase the state’s minimum wage.

In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee, Governor Hassan writes that boosting the rate would accelerate the state’s economic growth.

“Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage will help our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard-working people of all ages to spend at businesses across the state,” writes Hassan.

At $7.25, New Hampshire’s rate is the lowest in New England. A House-passed bill would boost it a dollar next year,  to $9.00 in 2016, and then automatically tie it to inflation.

Many business groups oppose the measure.

Curtis Barry with the New Hampshire Retail Association told Committee members Tuesday a higher rate would hurt employers.

“The ramifications are fewer hours for the current employees, perhaps not hiring when I might otherwise have, and I will do more myself. I’ll do more with less,” says Barry.

It will be tough for the bill to clear the GOP-held Senate, which voted down a minimum wage bill last year.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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