WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced their enthusiastic support for increasing New Mexico’s minimum wage.
The New Mexico state legislature is currently debating a measure to raise the minimum wage and provide for annual inflation increases to strengthen the economy and help lift more families into the middle class. Udall, Heinrich, Luján and Lujan Grisham also support raising the federal minimum wage.
“Increasing the minimum wage ensures families have money to spend at local businesses, and it’s one of the best things we can do to kickstart New Mexico’s economy,” Udall said. “At today’s minimum wage, too many New Mexico families work two or three jobs just to put food on the table and fill up the gas tank, yet they still can’t make enough to climb out of poverty. Our nation was founded on the promise that – no matter your background – anyone who works hard can get ahead. It’s time to raise the minimum wage to make sure we’re keeping that promise so that all New Mexico families have a real chance at the American dream.”
“Working full time at the current minimum wage leaves too many New Mexico families struggling to make ends meet -- this is especially true for women, who make up a disproportionate share of minimum wage workers today,”Heinrich said. “Our economy and our workforce are stronger when we reward an honest day's work with fair wages. We must be unwavering in our commitment to restore the basic bargain on which this country was built, that if you work hard and play the rules you can get ahead. It’s time to raise the minimum wage.”
“At today’s minimum wage, many full-time workers and their families still live below the poverty line. As a state and a nation, we can and we must do better if we are going to provide people with opportunities to pull themselves up and out of poverty with hard work and determination,” Luján said. “An increase in the minimum wage is not only good for workers, it’s good for businesses as it increases worker morale and contributes to a decrease in employee turnover. It also puts more money in the pockets of consumers, helping small businesses in our communities grow. It’s time to give workers in New Mexico a raise.”
“A strong, thriving middle class is the key to jumpstarting New Mexico’s economy and ensuring our future success. But at today’s minimum wage, New Mexico workers are denied the opportunity to enter the middle class - in fact, it’s a daily struggle just to stay out of poverty and provide for their families,” Lujan Grisham said. “Raising the minimum wage will give a much-needed shot in the arm to our recovery, help reduce our state’s vast income inequality gap and expand economic opportunity for New Mexico families. Hardworking New Mexicans deserve a raise."