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New Mexico Senate approves minimum wage hike

The Associated Press
March 01, 2017 05:11 PM

The New Mexico Senate has approved a bill to increase the statewide minimum wage from $7.50 to $9.

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The Senate voted 24-6 Wednesday for the proposed legislation over the objections of Republican lawmakers.

The minimum wage bill now moves to the House, where a separate bill would set the wage floor at $9.25 and place restrictions on local policies that curb flexible scheduling by employers.

The Senate bill was amended at the start of deliberations to increase the minimum wage in two steps, starting at $8.25 in October and $9 in April 2018.

Senate Bill Sponsor Clemente Sanchez said the new amendment responds to concerns from agricultural businesses.

The first wage hike for the state's lowest paid workers since 2009 would be felt acutely in rural, low-income areas. The state's three largest urban areas - at Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Albuquerque - already have local minimums. The highest is $11.09 in Santa Fe.

With the federal minimum wage frozen at $7.25 since 2009, many states are taking action. Nineteen states began the year with higher minimum wages through automated adjustments, new laws or ballot initiatives.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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The Associated Press

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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