NM minimum wage question fails in House

Feb 20, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal that would let New Mexico voters decide whether to boost the state's minimum wage next year has failed to pass the House.

The proposed constitutional amendment needed the support of 36 House members to make it onto the ballot next November. The vote came up short Wednesday night at 33-29.

The measure had been a top priority for Democrats. They said a wage hike would help tens of thousands of workers.

Opponents said the higher wage could force businesses to trim their workforce and it could lead to higher prices for goods and services.

New Mexico's minimum wage has been $7.50 an hour since 2009. The proposed constitutional amendment would have adjusted the minimum wage for inflation since 2009 — setting it at an estimated $8.40 starting in July 2015.