Updated: Feb 4, 2013 12:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Following in the steps of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, state lawmakers are proposing a statewide minimum wage hike.
Currently, New Mexico’s minimum hourly wage is $7.50.
Democratic lawmakers said Monday they want to raise that wage by a dollar.
Key democrats have made it clear since the start of this legislative session that they want a minimum-wage hike.
“In the senate we will introduce legislation for a statewide minimum wage of 8.50 an hour,” Senator William Soules said.
At a press conference Monday morning, Senators William Soules and Richard Martinez announced their planned legislation.
Raising the state's minimum wage to $8.50 would bring hourly wage to the
same as Albuquerque, where $1-an-hour hike kicked in January 1st.
Many republicans have spoken against raising the minimum wage, saying it could be bad for business and backfire on low-wage workers.
Senator Martinez says this will stimulate the economy.
“I think that raising the minimum wage does not automatically lift low income people out of poverty. But it eases the struggle to afford basic needs like food and shelter,” Senator Martinez said.
Last week, democratic Representative Miguel Garcia proposed a constitutional amendment that would raise minimum hourly wage every July based on the rate of inflation.
This proposal does not have that yearly raise, but democrats say they will consider adding in that provision down the line.
New Mexico’s last minimum wage hike was in 2009 when it went from $6.50 an hour to $7.50.
The governor's office issued a statement saying Governor Susana Martinez would look at anything that passes the legislature.
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