Actually, Senator Bragdon, considering what Walter Peterson stood for and accomplished, it's pretty clear that the only thing his spirit would be doing if it were "alive and well in the Senate Chamber" today would be haunting it.
So when House Bill 494 came up for a hearing earlier this month, some eyebrows were raised over its provision to include as one of those subminimum "tipped employees", people who run card games and other games of chance - and who occasionally get tips from particularly generous winners.
At the hearing, lobbyist Curtis Barry, representing the River Card Room in Milford, argued that the laws stacked the deck against facilities that aren't restaurants and can't pay those tipped employees a subminimum wage.
Apparently, at that point, a light bulb went off in the mind of House Labor Committee Chair Gary Daniels, R-Milford, who asked "if the committee would like to do something more generic" in terms of tipped employees. In other words, rather than making exceptions one at a time, do it all at once.
"It's a matter of parity - right now, all kinds of different people get tips, but we are tied up with the outdated law that only restaurants have them," Infantine said.
As you might expect, that raised the dander of Democrats on the panel, particularly Jeffrey Goley of Manchester. "Are we here to expand the number of employees that are going to receive a tipped wage? Are we looking to lower the wages of American workers?"
He added: "I can't support this."
But Tammy Simmons, R-Manchester, could. "It doesn't make sense that if they are serving you a beer it's OK, but if they are parking your car, it isn't. As long as they are making enough tips to make the minimum wage, why should we care?" Such workers make so much money in tips, echoed another Republican, that "they don't need our help."
Added Simmons: "I think we should be abolishing the minimum wage and let the free market reign," fired back Simmons.
Which brings us to William Infantine, R-Manchester, who tore into Democrats, who he said were "starting with this negative attitude, that someone is trying to screw someone here. We are trying to solve a problem, and it was huge quantum leap that we are going after 20,000 workers to feather the pockets of the owners. I know we are having certain issues on the House floor with certain leaders, but we don't have those issues in this committee."
Anyway, those "leaders" were never named (OK, take a wild guess) and the issue was not resolved at the end of the day. But don't be surprised if you hear about it again before the end of next year.
Jon Huntsman: A day after the June 13 presidential debate at St. Anselm College — which he skipped — the former ambassador to China announces his candidacy for president.
Newt Gingrich: The GOP presidential hopeful decides to continue on with his campaign, despite the loss of all of his top aides — including New Hampshire’s Dave Carney.
Ray Wieczorek: Governor Lynch signs a bill naming the new Manchester-Boston Regional Airport access road after the GOP executive councilor.
Jim Forsythe: The Republican state senator from Strafford and Ron Paul devotee is named chair of Paul’s 2012 presidential bid.
Sue Emerson: The Rindge Republican rep, and a victim of Speaker William O’Brien’s occasionally intimidating tactics, says she’s planning to sponsor a bill next session that would ban bullying in the State House.
Red Hampshire: The conservative website goes blank after several years of competing with its Blue Hampshire counterpart, not to mention other conservative websites in New Hampshire.
Brandon Stauber: The Sonoma, Calif., winery owner tells CBS that he decided to move to Exeter, N.H., so he could have a vote in a primary that actually mattered. He tells CBS he never met a presidential contender in all his years in California, but “in just nine months in New Hampshire, he’s met four.”
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