Bill to Raise Minimum Wage and Improve New Mexicans’ Quality of Life Passes House Floor, Heads to Senate

Bill to Raise Minimum Wage and Improve New Mexicans’ Quality of Life Passes House Floor, Heads to Senate

Santa Fe – Today, a bill to increase the minimum wage passed the House Floor. House Bill 31, as amended, 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.

House Bill 31 includes an amendment to allow for the tipped credit for the next three years so workers, restaurant owners, and customers can adjust to the wage increase.

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. Our last increases in federal and state minimum wage both took effect in 2009, nearly ten years ago.

“New Mexicans deserve this much needed raise, and I am hopeful that the Senate will agree and pass this important legislation,” said Rep. Miguel Garcia. “As this bill moved through the House, we listened to the input of our communities and have created a bill that gives New Mexico workers the opportunity to earn a fair wage while ensuring that restaurant owners can adjust to the changes proposed in this legislation.”

“Our economy needs a boost, and by raising the minimum wage our families will have more disposable income to put back into our state, benefiting our local economies and small businesses” said Rep. Joanne Ferrary. “We have worked closely with our communities to ensure we are doing right by New Mexico’s families, while also considering the potential impact on New Mexico’s businesses.”

House Democrats believe that ten years is too long for hard-working New Mexicans to go without a raise.  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 Senate for consideration.