Proposal Lets NM Voters Decide Minimum Wage Boost
By BARRY MASSEY
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) â¿¿ Democratic lawmakers are pushing to increase New Mexico's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, one of the highest rates in the country, and allow voters to decide whether the rate should be adjusted annually for inflation.
The proposals are part of the Democratic agenda for the 60-day legislative session, but the measures face strong opposition from business groups.
"For too long the debate seems to have been we either have social justice or you have economic development," said Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe. "You can have both. You can have social justice and a strong economy."The state's minimum wage went to $7.50 an hour in 2009. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Employers must pay the higher rate when there is a difference between the federal rate and requirements imposed by a state or local government, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions. A proposal by Sens. Richard Martinez, of Espanola, and William Soules, of Las Cruces, would increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, which would provide an annual salary of $17,680 for a full-time job. Only three states â¿¿ Washington, Oregon and Vermont â¿¿ have higher minimum wages. Washington tops the nation at $9.19 an hour, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. "This would increase the amount of money in a family budget by about $40 a week to buy groceries," Soules said of his proposal. "''This is a bill that supports families. It helps raise people up out of poverty, which we know is a major contributor to poor education outcomes." A separate proposal by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, would provide automatic cost-of-living increases in the state's minimum wage based on the consumer price index published by the Labor Department. The rate could increase but not decrease because of the annual adjustments.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV