House Republican Leader Comments on Job Killing Minimum Wage Bill

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following statement relative the House vote on HB1403, which raises the minimum wage in New Hampshire by 24% to $9 per hour. The bill passed by a 173-118 vote.

House Republican Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This bill will negatively affect our job climate in New Hampshire and threaten the viability of many small and medium sized businesses especially in the hospitality industry, which many workers in our state depend on.  For many small employers, a government mandated 24% wage increase is just not affordable, and they may have to reduce their overall number of employees or try to raise prices to compensate. In this economy, this is not a viable option.”

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that with this type of increase, between 500,000 and 600,000 jobs could be lost nationally, with as many as 2000 jobs cut in New Hampshire.”

“Just one medium sized restaurant in the Mount Washington Valley stated that it would cost them $20,000 to pay for this increase. In this economy there is no way they can afford this.”

“Raising the minimum wage will also eliminate job opportunities for our young workers who rely on entry level, part time, or seasonal jobs for valuable work experience.”

“Our business community is compassionate and more than capable of making reasonable decisions that best suits the needs of their employees and the viability of their businesses.”

“Republicans aren’t against higher wages. We are proponents of creating the economic conditions for businesses to thrive to ensure everyone has the opportunity to earn a decent wage. Government mandates do exactly the opposite.”

“Tying the minimum wage to an unpredictable index sets us up for major trouble. The Consumer Price Index can increase in a bad economy. I can’t imagine how proponents of this bill plan on explaining future automatic wage increases even during a recession. This could have disastrous consequences for our mom-and-pop operations.”