Commentary; Governor Martinez vetoed Senator Clemente Sanchez’s Senate Bill 386 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Throughout the legislative process, the bill received broad support from labor unions and business groups alike with representatives from AFSCME Council 18 and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce standing in support.
“This session the business and labor communities came together to support a modest raise for families who too often struggle to make ends meet,” said Senator Sanchez. “Even then, Governor Martinez seems to disagree that anyone working a full-time job should be able to afford to put food on the table and clothes on their children’s back. It’s unfortunate that with the stroke of a pen she can keep $3 thousand dollars a year out of the pockets of some of the hardest working New Mexicans who have not seen a raise in over seven years.”
The minimum wage has remained stagnant since 2009 and has not kept pace with the needs of hardworking New Mexicans and their families. Nearly one-third of New Mexicans who would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage have children – accounting for 28% of the total child population across the state.
The bill passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support and was supported by various business groups. In addition to the Albuquerque Chamber, the chambers of commerce in Alamogordo, Angel Fire, and Ruidoso expressed support for this bipartisan legislation.