While Lamontagne Promotes Cutting Minimum Pay for Workers; Hassan Says NH Must Restore Its Own Minimum Wage Law

MANCHESTER – As Ovide Lamontagne promotes cutting the minimum wage for workers, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan today said she will work to restore New Hampshire’s minimum wage law.   

“Many New Hampshire families struggle every day to make ends meet in the face of rising fuel and grocery prices. In the state Senate, I was proud to stand up for families and help pass a bipartisan law that raised New Hampshire’s minimum wage for the first time in 10 years,” said Hassan. “As Governor, I will work to restore New Hampshire’s minimum wage law for hard-working families.” 

As a member of the state Senate, Hassan sponsored legislation increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage for the first time in 10 years. The increase was phased in over two years. It passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support – a 19-5 vote in the Senate and 286-69 in the House. 

Over Gov. John Lynch’s veto, the legislature last year eliminated New Hampshire’s minimum wage law. Now New Hampshire is governed only by the federal law. It is unclear whether Lamontagne was aware of this when he told students at Central High School in Manchester that he supported a lower, minimum wage to open up jobs for high school students. [Union Leader, 5/23/12]

Federal law already allows for employers to pay for young, entry-level workers a minimum wage of $4.25 an hour for their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, as long as their work does not displace other workers.

“Is Ovide Lamontagne proposing to cut the minimum wage for everyone? Does he not understand that the lower “entry-level” minimum wage barely buys a gallon of gas? There are New Hampshire workers who work hard year round for the minimum wage. Is Ovide Lamontagne suggesting cutting their paychecks?” asked Joe Donahue of the Carpenters Local 118. “New Hampshire families need a governor who will stand with them. This is just another example of Ovide Lamontagne putting his radical Tea Party agenda before the needs of New Hampshire families.”  

Lamontagne Opposed Increasing the Minimum Wage.  [Project Vote Smart, 1996 National Political Awareness Test]