Governor Vetoes Minimum Wage Increase
Late Thursday night Governor Susana Martinez vetoed Senate Bill 386, a bill that would have increased the state minimum wage to $9 per hour.
During the 2017 legislative session there were multiple bills that would have increased the minimum wage, some as high as $15 per hour. The Governor’s veto was a surprise to observers because Senate Bill 386, sponsored by Sen. Clemente Sanchez, was viewed as a compromise bill, with both unions and business oriented Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce supporting its passage.
“This session the business and labor communities came together to support a modest raise for families who too often struggle to make ends meet,” Sen. Sanchez said a statement released by the Senate press office. “Even then, Governor Martinez seems to disagree that anyone working a full-time job should be able to afford to put food on the table and clothes on their children’s back. It’s unfortunate that with the stroke of a pen she can keep $3,000 a year out of the pockets of some of the hardest working New Mexicans who have not seen a raise in over seven years.”
The minimum wage has remained stagnant since 2009 and has not kept pace with the needs of hardworking New Mexicans and their families. Nearly one-third of New Mexicans who would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage have children – accounting for 28 percent of the total child population across the state.
The bill passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support and was supported by various business groups. In addition to the Albuquerque Chamber, the chambers of commerce in Alamogordo, Angel Fire and Ruidoso expressed support for this bipartisan legislation.