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Activists to Gov. Sununu: Give Granite Staters a Raise and Give Back Yours!

Gov. Chris Sununu has four days remaining to sign Senate Bill 10, which calls for the state minimum wage to increase to $10 per hour in 2020 and $12 per hour in 2022. (AlexiusHoratius/Wikipedia)
Gov. Chris Sununu has four days remaining to sign Senate Bill 10, which calls for the state minimum wage to increase to $10 per hour in 2020 and $12 per hour in 2022. (AlexiusHoratius/Wikipedia)
August 6, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. — Activists from across the political spectrum are calling for Gov. Chris Sununu to give back his raise and give one to Granite Staters instead.

On Monday, advocates from the group An Economy That Works for Everyone and volunteers for the New Hampshire Democratic Party presented the governor with a banner signed by 755 New Hampshire residents calling on him to sign SB 10, which would establish a state minimum wage.

Holly Shulman, senior communications adviser for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said some constituents are upset that he's taken two pay raises at taxpayers' expense without securing a living wage for the state's most vulnerable residents.

"The signers include Republicans, include independents and include people from all over the state. We're looking at a wide spectrum of people who are really passionate about this issue,” Shulman said. “And what seems to be preventing Chris Sununu from taking action is siding with corporate special interests, with big businesses, out-of-state corporations, at the expense of everyone else."

New Hampshire is the only New England state without a set minimum wage. Sununu has long said he opposes a state minimum wage, arguing it should be set at the federal level. Other opponents of the bill say they believe it will hurt small businesses.

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 for more than a decade.

The minimum wage in Vermont is $10.78 an hour; in Maine, it's $11; and in Massachusetts, the minimum wage is $12. Each of those is due to increase in 2020.

Shulman said it's time the Granite State catches up with its neighbors.

"Establishing and raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, which is what the state House and State Senate proposed – both bipartisan bills – would actually impact more than 100,000 workers directly in New Hampshire,” she said.

According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve in Boston, 24% of children in New Hampshire have at least one parent who makes less than $15 an hour.

Jenn Stanley/Cynthia Howard, Public News Service - NH