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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:38 AM

Democrats propose raising New Mexico minimum wage to $8.50

SANTA FE, N.M. — Democratic lawmakers are pushing to increase New Mexico’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, one of the highest rates in the country, and allow voters to decide whether the rate should be adjusted annually for inflation.

The proposals are part of the Democratic agenda for the 60-day legislative session, but the measures face strong opposition from business groups.

“For too long, the debate seems to have been we either have social justice or you have economic development,” said Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe. “You can have both. You can have social justice and a strong economy.”

The state’s minimum wage went to $7.50 an hour in 2009. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Employers must pay the higher rate when there is a difference between the federal rate and requirements imposed by a state or local government, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2013-02-04/democrats-propose-raising-new-mexico-minimum-wage-850 .

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Reply Democrats propose raising New Mexico minimum wage to $8.50 (Original post)
TexasTowelie Feb 2013 OP
SheilaT Feb 2013 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:49 AM

1. That would be nice.


I live in Santa Fe, and we have a pretty high minimum wage in this city. People, meaning businesses, keep on trying to blame the high cost of living here on the high minimum wage. I earn somewhat more than that, so I don't pay careful attention to what it actually is.

I moved here from Overland Park, Kansas, four and a half years ago, and I'm constantly open-mouthed in surprise at the claims that Santa Fe is so expensive. I can only conclude that no one here has ever visited, much less lived in any other part of the country. I initially rented a two bedroom apartment for exactly as much as a comparable place would have cost me in Overland Park. Should I mention that OP is considered a low cost of living part of the country?

The small two bedroom (but perfectly adequate for me) home I bought on the unpopular south side of this city is less than half of the median home price in this city. In OP, my perfectly adequate home for a family of four was about double the local median price of homes.

Probably the real issue about cost of living is the schools. I am saddened by how bad the schools are here, how low the standards. Oh, did I mention that my property taxes are low? Do you think there might be a connection?

I first entered the job market when the minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. I was actually able to live on my own (in Tucson, AZ) on that money. A few months later the federal minimum went up to $1.65 per hour, which made my life much nicer. I doubt I could currently live as well on the current federal minimum as I could nearly 50 years ago. And I'm someone without any health issues, so that's not even a factor. Just paying rent and buying food and gas for my car are the only things that would come into play. When I was last earning the minimum wage I didn't even own a car, but walked to work and to the grocery store and on occasion took the bus. I am fortunate that Santa Fe is a small town, so I only buy gas every other week or so, but it's still a larger part of my budget than it used to be.

A living wage is what everyone should be paid.

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