NM Minimum Wage Bill Blocked

Feb 19, 2013

A proposal to increase New Mexico's minimum wage for inflation has stalled after a House committee's Democratic chairwoman opposed the measure.

An effort to send the measure to the 70-member House failed on a 6-5 vote Tuesday in the Voters and Elections Committee. The measure remains alive and could be reconsidered later.

The state's $7.50 an hour minimum wage has been in effect since 2009.

A proposed constitutional amendment would allow voters to decide whether to require automatic cost-of-living increases in the wage rate. Business groups opposed the measure.

Committee chairwoman Mary Helen Garcia, a Las Cruces Democrat, said she opposed placing the minimum wage indexing in the state Constitution. She joined Republicans in blocking the proposal.

There's legislation in the Senate to raise the hourly minimum wage to $8.50.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.