Bill to Raise Minimum Wage and Improve New Mexicans’ Quality of Life Passes First Committee
Bill sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia and Rep. Joanne Ferrary advances
Santa Fe – Today, a bill to increase the minimum wage passed the House Labor, Veterans,’ and Military Affairs Committee. House Bill 31, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), would increase the minimum wage in phases, remove the minimum wage exception for tipped workers, and provide an annual cost-of-living increase indexed to inflation beginning in 2022.
Raising the minimum wage to $12.00 would add a total of approximately $205 million a year to the paychecks of New Mexican workers who are earning at or near the minimum wage. Nearly 20 percent of the total workforce, or 150,000 New Mexico workers, would receive an annual increase of approximately $1,114.
“It’s important to understand that raising the minimum wage will enhance the quality of life for our minimum wage workers, and in doing so, we ease the tension of our minimum wage workers having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet,” said Rep. Miguel Garcia.
“Raising the minimum wage is going to uplift New Mexico’s economy, as minimum wage workers spend more of their disposal income – income that goes back into our economy. The inadequate wage has led to an increase in the number of jobs that families have to work; families are working multiple part time jobs in order to make ends meet. It’s also forcing young, talented people to leave our state for more liveable wages elsewhere,” said Rep. Joanne Ferrary.
House Democrats believe that ten years is too long for hard-working New Mexicans to go without a raise. And that New Mexicans who work hard and play by the rules should not have to worry about where their next meal comes from or how they will pay the rent.
House Bill 31 now moves to the House Commerce and Economic Development committee.