CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Voting along party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate killed a bill Thursday that would have set the state minimum wage at $8.25 next year and increase it to $9 in 2016.
The Senate voted 13-11 to reject the bill favored by Democrats and Gov. Maggie Hassan, who expressed disappointment with the vote.
"In order to truly accelerate our economic growth, working families and individuals must be confident in their own financial circumstances and able to purchase the goods and services they need," Hassan, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Restoring and increasing New Hampshire's minimum wage would strengthen our economy and support businesses by putting more money in the pockets of their consumers."
House Speaker Terie Norelli said Senate Republicans were out of touch and showed "disrespect and a lack of understanding" of what the wage increase would have meant to workers.
But Bruce Berke, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, praised Republicans for making New Hampshire an attractive place to do business.
"Other states in the region have already or are planning to increase their labor costs. We will be the beneficiaries," said Berke.
Senate Democrats argued people can't live on the current $7.25 hourly minimum without subsidies from government, family or friends.