The New Hampshire Senate has joined the House in approving legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next 16 months, sending the bill to Governor John Lynch, who says he looks forward to signing the increase into law.
The Senate approved the legislation of on a vote of 19-5. The House previously voted 286-69 in favor of the legislation (H.B. 514).
The legislation will increase the state's minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.50 per hour on September 1, 2007. The minimum wage will then rise to $7.25 per hour on September 1, 2008. Under the legislation, employers will have to pay tipped employees in the state at least 45 percent of the applicable minimum wage.
New Hampshire joins 32 other states that have approved minimum wages above the federal level ($5.15).