ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — It looks like Albuquerque voters won't get their chance to vote on a minimum wage hike in November.
District Court Judge Nan Nash deemed the proposal invalid in a ruling issued Tuesday morning.
Local group OLE collected more than 25,000 signatures for a ballot initiative that would've raised Albuquerque's minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 in 2013 and increased it along with the consumer price index every year after that. The proposal would also give tipped workers a major pay hike.
Although one sentence of the ballot question had a typo, mixing up "employees" with "employers" in the sentence dealing with tipped workers, Judge Nash wrote in her decision that that problem was not enough to keep the question off the ballot as the city had argued.
However, Judge Nash did say that the question asked voters to approve all parts of OLE's proposal or deny all parts. That would cause a dilemma for someone in favor of a minimum wage hike but opposed to raising the wage for tipped workers, something the judge says does make the proposal invalid.
OLE says it is appealing the decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
We believe Judge Nash’s decision is deeply flawed and ignores precedents set in New Mexico and around the country about ballot initiative language,” said OLE president Mary Lee Ortega in a press release.
The deadline to certify the November ballot is later Tuesday, although Bernalillo County clerk, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, says a judge's order could place the question on the ballot as late as Sept. 21 without major problems.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.