Bill OK’d by Gov. to Cut Local Minimum Wages, Prevent Leave to Be Heard Saturday
The Democratic Party of New Mexico on Friday criticized Gov. Susana Martinez’s support for a bill, to be heard in the House Business and Employment Committee on Saturday, that would cut the minimum wage in cities around the state and pre-empt communities from enacting new leave policies for workers.
“The governor’s focus right now should be on restoring public trust in state government,” said Joe Kabourek, Democratic Party of New Mexico Executive Director. “Instead she wants to cut workers’ paychecks and block family leave. This is outrageous. New Mexicans need their paychecks now more than ever. Rather than punishing working families, Martinez should be working to create jobs.”
HB 211, which received an executive message from the governor specifically allowing it to be considered during the 30-day budget session, would pre-empt existing or future local minimum wage increases in New Mexico. The bill also specifically prohibits local communities from implementing worker leave policies – even if they are unpaid.
“This bill is mean-spirited. Not only does it do nothing to restore public trust in state government, but it actually further undermines that trust,” Kabourek said. “From her own investigation by a federal grand jury to her secretary of state ending up in jail, Gov. Martinez’s administration has been plagued by scandal and corruption. Overwhelmingly, New Mexicans don’t trust their leaders. Cutting paychecks and preventing workers from even taking a sick day does nothing to restore that trust.”
The House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee passed HB 211 last week. If it passes HBEC on Saturday, it will go before the full House for a vote.