Raise the Wage Act

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at the poverty wage of $7.25 per hour for 11 years. Unlike every other New England state, which has raised its minimum wage, our New Hampshire legislators have refused to honor the majority bi-partisan support for doing so.

This cruel state intransigence highlights the need for the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Passage of this act would result in nearly 32 million Americans receiving a long-overdue raise, many of whom are essential workers.

Morally speaking, this is not complicated. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted that “ALL labor has dignity” and thus deserves to be adequately compensated. This is not about the economic worth of any job, nor the skills of the person doing the job, but rather about the person themselves. If society needs work to be done, and it is done by persons, then their humanity, as well as our own, requires that they be paid at least the minimum needed to live on.

Although Sens. Shaheen and Hassan profess to agree with this, they both voted against amending the “American Rescue Plan” to include a minimum wage increase. Further calling their integrity into question, neither of them have yet become cosponsors of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021. Words mean nothing unless backed by action. It’s time for our senators to co-sponsor the Raise the Wage Act, and advocate forcefully for its passage.