Lawmakers consider 2 bills to increase minimum wage
SANTA FE, N.M. – Efforts to once again increase New Mexico’s minimum wage are getting some attention at the Roundhouse.
The minimum wage just went up to $12 an hour in the beginning of 2023. This week, two bills were considered by the House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee to increase the minimum wage even more.
House Bill 28 would tie minimum wage increases to inflation. One analysis predicted the minimum wage would increase to $15.55 per hour by 2034.
House Bill 25 pushed to increase the minimum wage to $16 an hour next year. Its sponsor is Democratic Rep. Christine Chandler from Los Alamos. She says it’s time to recognize the cost of living and its impact on New Mexicans.
“It really is a modest amount if you take into account what it takes to earn a living wage, and to pay for your basic needs just for yourself. If you’re a single mom, this bill is not going to cover it,” said Chandler.
That proposal got a lot of pushback from business leaders who said a $16 minimum wage would be among the highest minimum wages in the nation.
Chandler agreed to revise HB 25 to call for more modest increases.
The committee did pass HB 28 a proposal to tie minimum wage to inflation.
Seven Democratic committee members voted yes with four Republican committee members voting no.