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Las Cruces City Council votes in support of minimum wage increase

Las Cruces City Council votes in support of minimum wage increase
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 10:54pm

Las Cruces City Council voted in favor of supporting a minimum wage increase in New Mexico Monday afternoon on the same day the proposed legislation was approved by the state senate.

SB 416 would raise the minimum wage by $1 to $8.50 an hour.

"It just demonstrates and sends a message to Santa Fe," said Executive Director for Communities in Action and Faith Sarah Nolan.

The resolution voted on by council received a split decision with Mayor Ken Miyagishima and Councilor Miguel Silva voting again the resolution, but ultimately passed 5 - 2.

"This is just another burden that's going to hurt a very fragile economy," Miyagishima said.

He added a lot of people are concerned about their jobs and the sequestration that's going into effect.

He said people are holding onto their money and they're not spending as much money so his decision was based on timing.

"I support our workers and I want them to make it in what they do, but I think it's more important to have more jobs for more opportunities," Miyagishima said.

He said he's heard from several businesses wanting to relocate from up north where Santa Fe and Albuquerque currently have higher minimum wages than the state minimum.

"The minimum wage is only the beginning in terms of looking at other ways to boost economic growth and boost job growth," Nolan said.

SB 416 did pass 25 - 17 with an amendment what would exempt businesses with less than 11 employees from the increase.

The bill now moves forward to the House of Representatives.

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