Unified Action – September 2005

Raise the Minimum Wage in New Mexico

Sponsor: Las Cruces Community Roundtable
Email: David Lyons ffdrlyons@excite.com

The Issue

Governor Bill Richardson has decided to put a minimum wage bill on the call list for the January session of the New Mexico legislature, which means that it will be considered at that time.

What we are asking

We want to thank the Governor for putting a minimum wage bill before the legislature, and urge him to do everything possible to assure its passage. It’s fine to contact the Governor by phone or via his Web page form shown below.

The general message can be some variation on: Thank you for putting the minimum wage bill on the call list for the January session of the legislature. This is a very important bill for New Mexico families, and we urge you do everything in your power to get it passed. If you want to include supporting arguments, several are listed below.

Person to be contacted

Why the Minimum Wage Must Be Raised in New Mexico:

New Mexico ranks, among all states, 46th in per capita personal income. Our poverty rate is second highest in the nation.A greater share of New Mexicans work in minimum wage jobs than in any other state of the union.The last time the minimum wage was raised in New Mexico was 1997. Since that time, inflation has eroded the purchasing power of that increase: the $206 earned in 1997 for a forty hour week at minimum wage is worth only $169 per week now. The minimum wage represents 33% of the average wage for American workers, the lowest level since 1949. Hurricane Katrina underscored the huge disparity between rich and poor in this country. Closing this gap is essential to maintain a working democracy where all feel invested in the system. The beneficiaries of this legislation would include not only current minimum wage recipients, but also the huge number of workers whose pay is set in relationship to the minimum. Money in the hands of people who will spend it raises aggregate demand and boosts the overall economy. There has been little evidence of significant job loss from previous increases in the minimum wage.

Sources for statistical entries above“Minimum Wage Hike Pressed,” Albuquerque Journal, 9/2/05, page B1“Minimum Wage Facts at a Glance,” Economic Policy Institute,Morgan Quitno Press http://www.morganquitno.com/