From Las Cruces Sun News
A resolution, adopted Monday by the Las Cruces City Council, in support of legislation to increase the state minimum wage.
LAS CRUCES — Add the Las Cruces City Council to the list of people, organizations and governmental entities that support state legislation to raise the minimum wage in New Mexico.
At a special meeting Monday, the City Council voted 5-2 to adopt a resolution supporting Senate Bill 416, which could raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $8.50. Councilors Greg Smith, Olga Pedroza, Nathan Small, Gill Sorg and Sharon Thomas voted to approve the resolution. Councilor Miguel Silva and Mayor Ken Miyagishima voted against it.
“There’s only one economy I’m concerned with, and that’s the economy of Las Cruces,” said Miyagishima, in explaining why he couldn’t support the proposed legislation, which now goes to the New Mexico House of Representatives for debate and consideration.
For almost 90 minutes, the council debated the pluses and minuses of raising the minimum wage. Residents who spoke at the council meeting all urged the council to adopt the resolution.
“We must have a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” Las Crucen Alice Anderson said.
Councilor Olga Pedroza agreed.
“It is simply a matter of common knowledge that there are people who live in poverty in Doña Ana County, simply because
Advertisement of the economy,” said Pedroza, who added some migrant farm workers she represented as an attorney had been cheated out of wages.Councilor Sharon Thomas said she doubted claims a minimum wage hike would hurt businesses.
“Even though we keep hearing the minimum wage is a job killer, it isn’t,” Thomas said.
Councilor Nathan Small said his endorsement of the legislation was pretty cut-and-dried.
“It’s worthy of support,” Small said.
Steve Ramirez can be reached at 575-541-5452. Follow him on Twitter @SteveRamirez6
• Senate Bill 416, which would raise New Mexico’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $8.50, was approved Monday by the New Mexico Senate 25-17.
• The legislation will now go to the New Mexico House of Representatives for debate and a potential vote.
• Also Monday, the Las Cruces City Council voted 5-2 to adopt a resolution in support of the proposed legislation.