New Mexico Democrats at odds over minimum wage hike
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state Senate has rejected a minimum wage proposal approved by the House of Representatives that would gradually raise base pay to $12 an hour.
The Senate on Thursday appointed members of a conference committee in an effort to resolve a stalemate with House lawmakers. Democrats hold majorities in both chambers.
Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez of Grants say the House-approved version of his bill asks too much of businesses by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2022 and tying future increases to an inflation.
The Senate has agreed to step up the hourly minimum wage to $11 without future adjustments.
Sanchez will represent the Senate in conference committee negotiations, along with Democratic Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming and GOP Sen. James White of Albuquerque.