#NMLEG Progressive Bill of the Day | 01-28-15

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Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela

Luciano “Lucky” Varela has introduced House Bill 20, a bill which would raise New Mexico’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Did you know that for every $1 increase in the minimum wage families with minimum wage workers increase their spending by more than $800 per quarter? [1] Did you know that states with higher minimum wages attract more workers and have improved labor quality? [2]

According to ThinkProgress, $10.10 is the number to hit.

Since racial minorities are over-represented among the minimum wage workforce, raising the minimum wage to just $10.10 would lift 3.5 million people of color out of poverty.

Lucky Varela’s bill also takes into account inflation, and is set to increase the minimum wage proportionately each year (a process know as “indexing”). The actual value of the minimum wage has fallen sharply over the last decades, which means that families are working harder and harder while bringing home less and less money. Indexing helps solve this problem and ensure the minimum wage retains its buying power year-over-year.

HB 20 will likely be heard soon, possibly Friday of this week.

 

 

 

[1] Fillion, Kai. “A Stealthy Stimulus: How Boosting the Minimum Wage is Helping to Support the Economy.” Economic Policy Institute Issue Brief #255, May 28, 2009. Page 3. http://www.epi.org/publication/ib255/

[2] Egan, Timothy. “For $7.93 an Hour, It’s Worth a Trip Across a State Line.” The New York Times, January 11, 2007.