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Dems pressure Sununu over minimum wage

GOP calls it ‘jobs-killing policy’

NASHUA – Determined to see New Hampshire minimum wage workers get an hourly pay hike of $2.75 on Jan. 1, Granite State Democrats on Tuesday started an online petition to pressure Gov. Chris Sununu to sign their legislation.

However, the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party on Tuesday called the minimum wage legislation a, “jobs-killing policy.”

Both chambers of the Democratic-controlled New Hampshire Legislature recently voted for the state’s minimum wage to jump from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour, effective Jan. 1. The legislation, Senate Bill 10, calls for the wage to then increase to $12 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2022.

Sununu has repeatedly said he does not support a state minimum wage that exceeds that of the federal standard, which has been $7.25 per hour for nearly a decade.

If an employee earning the current $7.25 minimum wage worked 40 hours per week for 52 weeks in a year, he or she would realize an annual salary of $15,080, or $290 per week.

Many states already mandate higher minimum wages than the federal standard, including all in New England. Some minimum wages by state are Massachusetts, $12.00; Maine, $11.00; Vermont, $10.78; Rhode Island, $10.50; Connecticut, $10.10; Arkansas, $9.25; and West Virginia, $8.75.

How The Voted – House:

All 27 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from the city of Nashua are Democrats. Here is how they voted on SB 10, which would raise minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour as of Jan. 1 – and to $12 per hour on Jan. 1. 2022. In total, there are 25 yeas and two non-votes.

Ward 1 – Jan Schmidt and William Bordy voted yea. Bruce Cohen did not vote.

Ward 2 – Ray Newman, Sue Newman and Paul R. Bergeron voted yea.

Ward 3 – Sherry Dutzy, Patricia Klee and Suzanne Vail voted yea.

Ward 4 – Fred Davis Jr., Manny Espitia and David Cote voted yea.

Ward 5 – Allison Nutting-Wong, Michael Pedersen and Dan Toomey voted yea.

Ward 6 – Mark King and Fran Nutter-Upham voted yea. Ken Gidge did not vote.

Ward 7 – Greg Indruk, Catherine Sofikitis and Deb Stevens voted yea.

Ward 8 – Skip Cleaver, Laura Damphousse Telerski and Latha Mangipudi voted yea.

Ward 9 – Marty Jack, Linda Harriott-Gathright and Michael O’Brien voted yea.

How they Voted – Senate:

Here is how senators representing Greater Nashua voted on SB 10, which would raise minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour as of Jan. 1 – and to $12 per hour on Jan. 1. 2022.

District 13: Sen. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua – Yea

District 12: Sen. Melanie Levesque, D-Nashua – Yea

District 11: Sen. Shannon Chandley, D-Amherst – Yea

District 14: Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry – Nay

District 9: Sen. Jeanne Dietsch, D-Peterborough – Yea

Pressuring Sununu

Tuesday, New Hampshire Democrats launched a petition on Change.org to solicit public support for hiking the minimum wage. On the petition, they state, “More than 100,000 workers in New Hampshire would directly benefit from a $12 minimum wage. And the $7.25 wage hasn’t seen an increase in more than 10 years, even as the cost of living has increased 18%.”

As of late Tuesday, more than 400 people had signed the petition.

Sununu did not respond to a request for comment on the minimum wage legislation. However, New Hampshire Republican Party Executive Director Elliot Gault issued a statement to InDepthNH.

“With over 15,000 high-paying jobs available and one of the highest median incomes in the country, New Hampshire’s economy is booming under Gov. Chris Sununu. Increasing the minimum wage would stifle our economy and cause massive layoffs. Gov. Sununu is right to oppose this jobs-killing policy,” Gault said.