A proposed increase in New Mexico’s minimum wage already approved by the full Senate would make the state’s minimum wage the highest in the region.
The Senate bill, which still faces scrutiny in the House and would go to the governor if approved, would raise the minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $8.50 an hour. States bordering New Mexico would all pay less if the bill becomes law:
⋄ Arizona’s minimum wage is $7.80 an hour.
⋄ Colorado’s wage is $7.78. Workers younger than 18 years can be paid 15 percent less.
⋄ Oklahoma, Utah and Texas have no state minimum wage. Workers there are paid the federal minimum, which is $7.25 an hour.
Albuquerque voters last November approved a city minimum wage of $8.50 an hour. Santa Fe’s minimum wage of $10.39 is due to increase to $10.51 this month. Both cities adjust the wage automatically for changes in the cost of living.
Arizona and Colorado both automatically adjust their minimum wages for inflation. The New Mexico Senate proposal does not include a cost-of-living adjustment.
When there is an increase in a business’ payroll, it automatically triggers increases in other expenses, chief among them Social Security and Medicare taxes employers must pay, said Mike Stanford, an owner of Albuquerque-based The Payroll Company, which provides payroll services to employers....
The measure passed by the New Mexico Senate would not apply to businesses with fewer than 11 employees and would not have to be paid during a one-year “training” period. The rule would also not apply to agricultural jobs and workers under age 18.