Nashua Telegraph: Wages of war in New Hampshire
Key Point: "They clearly didn’t vote to help the lowest wage earners in the state. One can only surmise that the state’s underpaid workers aren’t the people these [Republican] senators think they were sent to Concord to represent. In that case, they’re doing a great job."
Wages of war in New Hampshire
There is no war going on in New Hampshire.
State Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, would have you believe differently, judging from statements he made on the floor of the Senate in Concord last week.
Sanborn said a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage above the federal minimum of $7.25 was a “war on employers.”
It would hurt the very people it was intended to help and would decimate businesses, he said.
“How many jobs are going to exist in New Hampshire if there are no longer any employers?” Sanborn asked rhetorically.
Sanborn is prone to outrageous comparisons. Last year, while he was guest-hosting a radio show, he compared the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the San Francisco plane crash that killed two people.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro called the bill to raise the state’s minimum wage a “job killer.” And last week, all 13 Republican senators voted down the increase and killed the bill, HB 1403, which was sent to them by the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.
Republican state senators like Sanborn and Bradley, who tried to cast a minimum wage increase as an assault on employers and businesses, engaged in the worst kind of political hyperbole.
New Hampshire is viewed as one of the most-business friendly states in the country.
New Hampshire has the lowest minimum wage in New England. The minimum wage is $8.60 an hour in Vermont, $8 in Massachusetts and $7.50 in Maine.
Someone earning the minimum wage in New Hampshire would have to dedicate all their earning for seven months just to pay the taxes on Sanborn’s Bedford home.
Raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour in 2015 – and eventually to $9 an hour in 2016 – would have boosted the wages of 76,000 Granite Staters, including women, young people and parents, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.