CONCORD — When the New Hampshire House of Representatives last week voted by 173 to 118 to increase state minimum wage, the 18 members of the Belknap County Delegation split along strict party lines.
All 10 Republicans present — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Don Flanders, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Bob Greemore and Herb Vadney of Meredith, Stephen Holmes of Alton, and Michael Sylvia of Belmont — voted against the measure. Three Republicans — Jane Cormier of Alton, Charles Fink of Belmont and Colette Worsman of Meredith were absent and did not vote..
Four Democratic representatives — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted in favor while the fifth, Beth Arsenault of Laconia, was absent and did not vote.
House Bill 1403 would increase the minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $8.25 in 2015, to $9 in 2016 and annually thereafter by the percentage increase tied to the Consumer Price Index.