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Minimum wage fight continues as session nears end

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By Robert Nott
The New Mexican

The state House of Representatives and the Senate may be on a collision course when it comes to how best to reset New Mexico's minimum wage law, a priority issue for Democrats in this year's legislative session.

That's because the House on Wednesday night refused to budge on its proposal to the raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 an hours by Jan. 1, 2022 and then increase it in future years with a cost-of-living bump.

The Senate, however, has approved a more modest proposal designed to increase the minimum wage to $11 an hour by Jan. 1, 2022, without any further cost-of-living increases.

Sen. Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants, who sponsored Senate Bill 437, said earlier this week he will not "concur" with changes the House made to his bill. He warned that the state may not see a minimum wage hike if the two legislative bodies, both Democrat-controlled, can't find common ground.

The potential showdown over an issue on which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned, comes as time is running out on this year's legislative session, which ends at noon Saturday.


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