Local Viewpoints
11:10 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Bregman: Minimum Wage Hike Good For New Mexico

  In last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he would take action and help workers across the country earn a living wage.

President Obama’s executive action will make a real difference for New Mexicans and for thousands of others across the country who work hard every day to support their families.

Last year, Republicans shut down the government, costing the economy billions of dollars and furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal workers. On the other hand, the president just announced that he would raise wages for federally contracted workers. The difference between the Democratic and Republican visions for America and American workers has never been clearer.

Republicans don’t seem to understand the cost of their actions to ordinary Americans. When they block progress on measures like raising the minimum wage in order to score political points, it is New Mexico families that pay the price. Raising our wages has real, tangible effects that seem to get lost in the Washington rhetoric. In New Mexico, it’s not about politics, it’s about putting food on the table.

Right now, there are people in New Mexico who do not know how they’re going to fill up their gas tank or pay next month’s rent. These people are looking for more than partisan politics as usual – served up daily by the Martinez/McCleskey administration.

These New Mexicans are looking for elected leaders who will stand up and advocate for them, but sadly that’s not the case with Gov. Susana Martinez and Congressman Steve Pearce.

The truth is that New Mexicans cannot wait for Republicans to join Democrats in the fight for expanding economic opportunity.

President Obama made clear that if Republicans refuse to act, he will. Raising the minimum wage in New Mexico for everyone is one of the key goals that Democrats have in the 2014 NM legislative session. This legislation would be in the form of a constitutional amendment that would be placed on the ballot in November 2014. Like President Obama, New Mexicans can’t afford to wait, and all voters deserve the final say on this important legislation.

President Obama and New Mexico Democrats are building the future.