Guest View: Raise minimum wage to help NH families, economy

By Donna Soucy Jan 28, 2020

Any person working full time should be able to provide for themselves and their family. That is why I have introduced SB 410, my 8th piece of legislation aimed at raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

I have been fighting for a living wage for Granite Staters since I was first elected to the Senate in 2012. SB 410 is designed to increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage over the course of the next two years. The first raise would be to $10 in 2021 and then $12 in 2022.

Last session, I introduced SB 10 which would have raised New Hampshire’s minimum wage gradually to $12. Despite support from the House and the Senate, the measure was vetoed by Governor Sununu. In the time since the governor’s veto, we have seen every neighboring state increase their minimum wage. Right now, we are the only state in New England following the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and the only New England state with a minimum wage below $10.50.

New Hampshire has not raised its minimum wage since 2009. While the cost of living, from groceries to gas to daycare, has steadily increased, paychecks have not. When wages are inflation-adjusted to 2019 dollars, an individual making the minimum wage in 2009 took home about 17% more pay in terms of real purchase power than someone making $7.25 an hour in 2019.