NM House Republicans Vote Against Constitutional Amendment to Raise the Minimum Wage

Senate Joint Resolution 13A died on a vote of 33 to 29, it needed 36 votes to pass. SJR 13 is a constitutional amendment that allows voters to decide whether to raise the minimum wage. In the legislation, the minimum wage increase is tied to the cost of living. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe -5) and Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Bernalillo-14).

Below is a statement from Speaker W. Ken Martinez:

“Democrats fought every step of the way to pass a minimum wage increase for New Mexico working families. Republicans voted no.”

“Pay discrepancy between CEOs and workers’ salaries continues to grow; CEOs now make, on average, 343 times more than typical workers.”

“The economic benefits of raising the minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of those who spend it, to help feed their families and educate their children. A minimum wage increase stimulates the economy, pure and simple.”

“We are disappointed but not deterred. We won’t stop fighting for New Mexico families. We will come back next year, and every year after, until this is done.”

About the bill:

SJR 13A would have raised New Mexico’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.30 an hour, the proposal would adjust the state’s minimum wage for inflation since 2009.

The minimum wage would then increase each year for inflation, but it couldn’t rise more than 4 percent annually. It’s estimated the wage rate would reach $8.40 in July 2016 and $8.60 in 2017, according to the Legislative Finance Committee.

Currently New Mexicans who make minimum wage, who work 40 hrs/wk for 52 weeks (2080 hrs) for $7.50/hr yield an annual salary of $15,600, or $300 a week, this keeps a family of two or more far below the current federal poverty line of $19,553, which was set in 1968.