Voter opinions strong, studies mixed on effects of a higher minimum wage

MONTPELIER, Vt. – During debates in Montpelier over whether to hike the minimum wage, people living along the New Hampshire border are often invoked as the residents who would be hit the hardest, with opponents warning that businesses would quickly move across the Connecticut River, where the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is in effect.

But for voters along the border – just like their representatives in the Statehouse, who are expected to take up a minimum wage bill again this coming session – opinions were mixed Tuesday, Nov. 6 on whether the minimum wage would boost livelihoods or bankrupt businesses.

A minimum wage increase “is long overdue,” said Willa Nohl, who with her husband owns the Charleston House B&B in Woodstock. She added that she doesn’t believe raising the wage would hurt businesses and by extension their workers.

“I think it’s important to show workers respect by paying them a living wage,” Nohl said.

But others are saying not so fast.

Written by Anne Wallace Allen, VTDigger.org.

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