Minimum Wage Increase Passes House Committee


Minimum Wage Increase Passes House Committee

Proposed Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $9.25 an Hour Passes Along Party Lines

Staff Report 

Santa Fe, N.M. – Monday, House Bill 442 passed the House Labor and Economic Development Committee in a partisan 6-5 vote. HB 442 would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour, a $1.75 increase over the state’s current minimum wage of $7.50 per hour. The increase is designed to not burden small businesses and rural municipalities, yet still put an extra $3,000 annually into the pockets of New Mexicans working full-time.

“Our focus is on supporting New Mexico’s hardest working people by fighting for a much deserved increase in the minimum wage,” stated House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “This increase will mean minimum wage earners will earn an additional $3,840 each year, a huge difference to their families’ budgets.”

“This additional $3,000 annually into the pockets of hardworking New Mexicans means that they can pay their mortgage, or a car payment, or their children’s school fees,” said Representative Carl Trujillo (D-Nambe). “This bill gives New Mexicans more purchasing power when shopping and buying locally, thus boosting economic activity.”

“Imagine trying to get ahead working full-time on $290 a week before taxes,” stated Majority Floor Leader, Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque). “Some of our hardest working New Mexicans have been stuck at the same wage since 2009, while the cost of necessities like electricity, milk and rent have gone up. With this piece of legislation we can provide some relief to those hardworking New Mexicans and their families.”

“This bill will put our state’s minimum wage more in line with what businesses are already paying, and more in line with surrounding states like Colorado and Arizona,” stated Representative Debbie Rodella (D-Española). “It is time we get serious about reducing poverty in our state. Folks who work full-time on minimum wage should be able to afford a roof over their head and put food on the table.”

House Bill 442 will also increase the minimum wage for tipped-employees from $2.13 an hour to 40 percent of the new statewide minimum wage. The bill also allows individual municipalities to continue raising their own minimum wage but bars them from lowering the minimum wage below the proposed hourly rate of  $9.25. House Bill 442 will be heard next in the House Judiciary Committee.