SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — 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 Login to read more