Late-night deal reached on minimum wage

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By Robert Nott
The New Mexican

The state's lowest-paid workers are likely to get a raise of $1.50 an hour effective Jan. 1, and their wages will rise each year until 2023.

After weeks of debate and disagreement over competing bills to raise the statewide minimum wage of $7.50 an hour, the Senate and House of Representatives were on course Thursday night to settle on a wage scale. A conference committee of three senators and three representatives reached an agreement in what appeared to be a well-orchestrated presentation.

As late as Thursday afternoon, Democrats in the House and Senate were at odds over the minimum wage. But the icy dispute thawed after key legislators met with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat.

Lujan Grisham campaigned on raising the statewide minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2021. With their proposed compromise, legislators would authorize that amount but more slowly.

They are proposing a hybrid of the competing bills.

After minimum wage rose from $7.50 to $9 next year, it would increase on this schedule:

*$10.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021.

* $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022.

* And finally $12 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023.

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