Lawmaker wants to raise minimum wage for school workers

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the face of a budget shortfall, it might be a hard sell. One state representative from Albuquerque wants to raise the minimum wage for school workers to $15 an hour.

Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, says after decades in education, she feels this is the right thing to do.

Her bill aims to increase the minimum wage for non-unionized school personnel — not educators, but people like bus drivers, janitors and cafeteria works.

Rep. Trujillo says these kind of school workers are often the first to interact with kids every day, yet they can barely make ends meet in their own homes.

But in the face of the state’s budget crisis for both this year and next — both still without resolution – KRQE News 13 asked Rep. Trujillo if an idea like this is even feasible.

“Maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses, but I have faith that revenue projections will provide I think enough of an increase in revenue that we can help folks who are truly in need,” she said.

If passed, the pay hike would costs millions of dollars, but Rep. Trujillo did not have a clear estimate on how many districts and workers would be affected by this.

Of course, lawmakers aren’t in much of a mood to add to the budget when they’re already looking to make cuts from education. Even if this bill did pass, Gov. Susana Martinez holds the veto power and she has come out against big increases in minimum wage.

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