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NM Lawmakers To Consider Minimum Wage Hike

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Kevin Meerschaert
/
KSFE-FM
Rep. Christine Chandler (left) discusses her legislative priorities to constituents Wednesday at the Nancy Rodriguez Community Center. Other lawmakers at the table (L-R) are State Re. Andrea Romero, Santa Fe County Commissioner Anna Hansen, Rep. Tara Lujan, and new SF County Commissioner Justin Greene.

Bills to hike New Mexico’s minimum wage have been introduced ahead of the 60-day session which begins next week.

There are two bills that have been introduced so far, one by Rep. Miguel Garcia would tie minimum wage increases to the cost of living index as set forth by the US Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index.

The other by fellow Democrat Rep. Christine Chandler would also tie hikes to the CPI, but first increase the current $12 an hour minimum wage to $16 beginning next January 1st.

Chandler says that increase would be based on what is now considered a living wage in New Mexico.

“I think it’s a very reasonable bill,” she said. “A minimum wage bill for some reason, that perplexes me, seems to take on a life of its own. Battle lines are drawn that I think are unnecessary. I think we all have the same goal of wanting workers who work full-time, 40 hours a week to be able to pay for their basic necessities and I think that’s our goal and we’re towards getting that to happen and I think it will happen this year.”

The cost of living increases would be computed each year and take effect on January 1st.

Several attempts to tie the state’s minimum wage to the cost of living index have failed in the state legislature.

The 2023 60-day session begins on Tuesday.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.
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