SANTA FE (KRQE) - A bill to increase the statewide minimum wage is still in the hands of the governor.
As lawmakers debated the issue over the last two months, Governor Susana Martinez made it clear she thought the $1-an-hour increase was a bad idea.
She has not vetoed the bill yet and supporters are not giving up.
The New Mexico based group Working America, showed up with stacks of petitions.
The group gathered nearly 2,000 photo petitions.
Signatures paired up with pictures of the people signed them, to urge the governor to sign a bill from state lawmakers to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 an hour.
"You get to see them face to face and these are her constituents that are saying we support the minimum wage…please raise it," Brenda Rodriguez with Working America said.
But the governor's office made it very clear and convincing the governor to agree to the increase is going to be tough, if not impossible.
In response to the petitions, the governor's office released a statement saying "the union-backed legislation on her desk is a gimmick that would cause New Mexico to have the 4th highest minimum wage in the entire country, which would lead to job losses."
In the legislative session that wrapped up more than a week ago, the governor suggested raising the minimum wage to $7.80 an hour, which would match Arizona.
Working America says that's not nearly enough.
"I really find it incredible that she called this bill a gimmick. It's not a gimmick to put food on the table," Rodriguez said.
Lawmakers, like Representative Brian Egolf of Santa Fe, say they did what they could to push for the $1 increase.
Egolf flat out disagrees with the governor's argument that an $8.50 minimum wage would kill jobs.
"The biggest argument that changing the minimum wage hurts business is simply false. We heard that argument here in Santa Fe. We now have the highest minimum wage in the country and we've seen anything but economic hardship,' Rep. Egolf said.
A spokesperson for the governor says she will veto the bill, although it hasn't happened yet.
Representative Egolf says he expects a minimum wage increase to pop up again in the next legislative session.
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