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Capitol Update for Tuesday, March 12

Tom Trowbridge, New Mexico News Network
Santa Fe, 2019-03-11

The New Mexico State Senate has approved a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage. But as Tom Trowbridge reports from the Roundhouse, the Senate’s version of a boost to the state’s lowest legal wage differs substantially from a bill recently approved by the State House

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Senator Clemente Sanchez’s Senate Bill 437 takes an incremental approach to increasing New Mexico’s minimum wage. The Democrat from Grants explained his bill this way:

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Sanchez’s bill is not indexed by inflation for future increases; it also establishes an eight-dollar, 50-cent an hour student wage and boosts the rate for tipped employees by a-quarter an hour, to two-38. The measure passed on a 27-to-15 vote. GOP Senate Leader Stuart Ingle of Portales was among those voting "Nay:"

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The House has approved its own minimum wage increase that tops-out 12-dollars an hour, but with automated future increases tied to inflation. It will be interesting to see what happens on the issue as the 2019 session comes to an end, as Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned last year calling for the higher of the two minimum wage options

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge