NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Tuesday was the first-day legislators could start prefiling their bills for the legislative session. A few state representatives are proposing increasing the minimum wage. This comes after it just increased across the state.

Democratic Representatives Miguel Garcia and Christine Chandler each introduced separate bills to increase the minimum wage. However, minimum wage increases come with controversy.

Some business owners are nervous about increases, while some workers see it as a saving grace. “It affects me when it comes to my products because things will be going up between 15 and 20 percent to cover all of the changes and the new salaries,” said Laura Cano, an Albuquerque business owner.

“From what I’ve heard, I know the cost of living is increasing; rent is a little more. Hopefully, this minimum wage increase will help families out,” Christian Vittitow, a barista.

Both bills propose raises based on the cost of living.

Chandler’s bill would raise the minimum wage to $16 an hour by 2024. Some activists in the city believe this would positively support those they petition for.

“We really need much bigger wage increases. Twelve dollars is not enough. Sixteen dollars does good, but it still needs to be higher so that we can survive in Albuquerque,” said Bex Hampton with Peoples Housing Project.

This all comes soon after the minimum wage increased in the state. On January 1, it increased to $12 an hour. That increase came from the 2019 New Mexico Minimum Wage Act.

The legislative session is quickly approaching. Opening day is on January 17. Legislation can be pre-filed until January 13.