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NM Legislator proposal: Raise the state minimum wage

By: Joshua Zuber
SANTA FE, NM -- There is a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would raise the minimum wage in New Mexico from $7.50 to likely $8.50 and then annually tie an increase of the minimum wage to the rate of inflation.

State Sen. Richard Martinez is the sponsor of the measure.

He says its the right thing to do for New Mexicans, citing how difficult it is for people to live off the minimum wage.

Martinez says he understands critics who say increasing the wage could hurt the economy by scaring businesses from expanding and hiring, but he also calls it hype to believe such logic.

The money is spread throughout the community. Its an economic development factor. Also I dont believe anyone would lose jobs because we raise the minimum wage, Martinez said.

Currently, there is no fixed amount to raise the minimum wage.

The bill is in rule committee, according to the New Mexico State Legislatures website.

Martniez says it would then go to the Committee, which he chairs, and then the Senate floor.

Then it goes over to the House for pretty much the same process.

If it passes out of the Legislature and voters were to approve the amendment in November, it would take effect July 2015.



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