The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering whether thousands of state workers covered by union contracts are owed back pay and raises totaling millions of dollars.
The state high court on Wednesday heard arguments on an appeal by the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez.
Her administration is appealing a state Court Appeals' ruling.
That ruling said about 11,000 state workers are entitled to retroactive pay increases because former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration didn't follow union contracts in distributing money provided by the Legislature about five years ago.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Martinez's administration now estimates it would cost the state $23 million to pay the raises.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.