The Senate has approved a plan to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour over the next few years.
Senator Clemente Sanchez’s bill would ramp up workers’ pay to $9.25 an hour by October then to $10 an hour by April 2020. Wages would then jump to $11 an hour in January 2022.
New Mexico’s $7.50 minimum wage has not gone up in 10 years. Opponents argue the wage hike would hurt small businesses in rural areas.
The bill now heads to the House and is competing with a House-approved bill proposing a larger wage hike of $12 an hour with future increases tied to inflation.