New Hampshire is poised to freeze its tipped minimum wage of $3.27 per hour after a 201-171 vote by the House.
Current state law sets the minimum wage for tipped workers at 45% of the federal minimum wage, $7.25. The proposal has already cleared the New Hampshire Senate in a slightly different form.
The restaurant industry offered strong support to this bill. They’re anticipating a potential federal minimum wage hike under the Biden administration. President Biden affirmed his support for a $15 minimum wage during a joint address to Congress in April.
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House Labor Committee Chairman Will Infantine said he supports raising the minimum wage, but he said he pitched the freeze on tipped wages as smart tactics with minimal effects on workers.
But critics of the bill argued that higher wages for all workers are necessary. They said the preservation of a tiered minimum wage of any kind doesn’t serve anyone.
“This bill is bad for labor. It’s bad for management,” said Rep. Joshua Adjutant of Bristol, a Democrat.