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Lack of state minimum wage becomes NH campaign issue

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - Democrats running for office in New Hampshire are highlighting the fact that the state does not have a minimum wage. That includes elected officials in Lebanon who held a press conference Tuesday morning.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed two minimum wage bills in recent years. He says the vast majority of employees in the Granite State make well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

But Democrats say he being disingenuous because pay raises for governors are built into the budget while some hourly workers do not make a livable wage.

“We are the only state in New England that is still holding that line. I actually think this would benefit employers in terms of being able to recruit and retain employees over a longer period of time,” said Sue Prentiss, Democrat for New Hampshire Senate.

“You put in this drastic minimum wage you get monster amounts of compression in the labor force. Hours have to give, jobs have to give. Something has to give in that system,” said Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

Sununu says New Hampshire already has among the highest average wages in the country and lowest poverty rate.

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