GOP Devalues Minimum Wage Workers by Denying COL Increase

Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell killed legislation which would have raised
New Mexico’s minimum wage every year relative to inflation.

House Joint Resolution 28, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia
(D-Bernalillo), increased the minimum wage based on an equation
factoring in inflation, and would have upped the rate next year from
$7.50 to about $7.66.

Ezzell, though, quickly asked whether the bill would effect the
state’s budget, since some New Mexico employees make minimum wage.
Garcia said it likely would, though there would be time to manage the
fiscal issues as the bill called for the question of raising the
minimum wage to be put to voters in November.

Ezzell (D-Roswell) moved to have the resolution referred to House
Appropriations and Finance Committee. Her motion passed by a 35-31
vote. It effectively kills it, as there are only two days left in the
session.

Afterward, Ezzell said she made the motion because she didn’t believe
the fiscal impact on the state had been addressed.

Asked whether she believed the minimum wage should increase relative
to inflation, Ezzell said “a good employer will compensate good
employees.”

“Down in the southeast corner of the state, we understand the
importance of good-paying jobs for employees,” she said.

Every Republican in the house voted to send the resolution to committee.

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