New Hampshire Dumps Minimum Wage Law; Rep Says Youth 'Not Worth Minimum'

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At  Issue: Minimum Wage
Amid a debate on the state's minimum wage A New Hampshire state representative said she would like to repeal all minimum wage laws and allow corporations to pay workers whatever they feel inclined. She also said the $7.25 per hour minimum is overly generous to young people who are "not worth the minimum."

While the GOP presidential candidates debate the proper approach to creating jobs, New Hampshire's new minimum wage restriction law that lowers the minimum wage to match the federal one of $7.25 an hour has gone into effect.

Calling it a job-killing regulation, Republicans overrode Democratic Gov. John Lynch's veto to strip the minimum wage law from the books in June. The change has no real consequence for employers or employees because New Hampshire's minimum wage was the same as the federal wage.

But Republican State Representative Carol McGuire thinks even the federal level is too high.

In a statement to journalists, McGuire said she would like to repeal all minimum wage laws and allow corporations to pay workers whatever they feel inclined. She also said the $7.25 minimum is overly generous to young people who are not worth the minimum.

It's very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They're not worth the minimum, McGuire said, adding that young people would get a job if they could be paid $5 hourly, instead of the minimum.

During the debate to remove the law from the state books, Republicans insisted the wage law not only makes it harder to create jobs, it kills them, The Associated Press reported.

With this veto, the governor is sending the wrong message to employers that New Hampshire is going to make it harder to create jobs, Republican House Speaker William O'Brien said in June. Voters, he said, have sent a clear message that they wanted more jobs, not job-killing regulations, like the minimum wage.

The House Republicans, too, killed a Democratic-sponsored bill to raise wages. Democrats made the case for the 75 cent increase, saying it would put $30 more each week into the pockets of the state's 4,000 lowest-paid workers, which would then boost the economy.

Democrats -- including Lynch -- maintained that stripping the state minimum wage law from the books hands over control to Congress.

Repealed New Hampshire's minimum wage leaves New Hampshire workers at the whim of the federal government, House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli told The AP. Congress could lower the federal minimum wage, or eliminate it altogether with the  idea that it should be a state issue, leaving New Hampshire workers with no protection.

 

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