(Barrington, NH - March 12th, 2015) While I am disappointed by the votes in the House and Senate today, I see reasons for optimism going forward. At the beginning of this session, everyone predicted that legislation as far-reaching didn’t have a chance and that any serious effort to permanently fix New Hampshire’s minimum wage wouldn’t win over everyone. Today’s result demonstrates that, with a well-researched and bipartisan approach, people in Concord will listen and judge a proposal on its merits. Next time, we’ll get the 27 more votes necessary to give our hardest working neighbors a long-overdue raise.
But make no mistake; this represents a missed opportunity and more fall-out from the disastrous reign of Speaker O’Brien. We had a chance to return control of our minimum wage from Washington DC to our citizens legislature in Concord and we didn’t. We had a chance to insert more money into our recovering economy and increase its momentum and we didn’t. And most importantly, we had a chance to stabilize the finances of thousands of our neighbors while allowing them to move off of food stamps and other forms of public support and we didn’t.
I have learned a good deal in this, my first term back after a six-year absence, that I will take with me when I introduce this again. And I promise both my supporters and my critics, I will reintroduce legislation to raise our minimum wage to a livable level and get it signed into law.
About Jackie Cilley: Born in Berlin, New Hampshire, Jackie Cilley was raised with four siblings in a third-floor walk-up tenement before graduating from Berlin High School. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from UNH and has served as an adjunct professor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics since matriculating from there in 1985. In 2004 she ran for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and won, serving one term in the House before being elected twice to the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 6th District from 2006 - 2010. In 2012, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor, losing to Gov. Hassan. She was re-elected to the New Hampshire House in 2014 where she serves on the Committee on Executive Departments and Administration. Rep. Cilley was recently named by veteran NH political reporter John DiStaso as one of the "'Most wanted' NH Democrats for the 2016 presidential campaign.