By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on June 8, 2011, I vetoed HB133, relative to the minimum wage.
This legislation repeals New Hampshire's state minimum wage law, effectively ceding state control and authority to the federal government.
This legislation would make New Hampshire one of only a handful of states that completely defer to the federal government and do not independently establish their own minimum wage laws. I do not support turning over complete authority to the federal government to determine what makes sense for our citizens or our businesses.
The minimum wage law ensures that our citizens receive at least a minimum level of compensation for their hard work. It also helps ensure a level playing field for business owners - the overwhelming majority of whom want to give their employees a decent day's wage for a day's hard work.
New Hampshire's current minimum wage is set at the federal level, and it is appropriate. But four years ago, we agreed that - after a decade of federal inaction - we needed to act to help families meet rising costs. This legislation removes the New Hampshire legislature from that debate, and gives authority to set the minimum wage solely to the federal government.
New Hampshire's current economic strategy is working. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Ten thousand more people are working now than at the same time last year. We have one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. And we have one of the highest median incomes in the nation.
New Hampshire has had a minimum wage law since 1949, and neither our citizens nor our businesses have called for its repeal. There is no need to undermine our state's economic strategy or cede our state authority to the federal government. Therefore I am vetoing this legislation.