2/16/09 505-343-9848

Stop SB260 – Minimum Wage Tied to CPI

Senate Bill 260 – AN ACT RELATING TO PAYMENT OF WAGES; PROVIDING FOR AN ANNUAL COST-OF LIVING INCREASE IN THE STATE MINIMUM WAGE RATE will be presented in Senate Corporations Committee (SCORC) today. The bill will be substituted with a different version pertaining only to employers with 100 or more employees. Don’t think this is a reason not to call. If this passes the next step will be to apply it to all businesses. We must fight this now. Call the committee now (switchboard at 505-986-4300). Committee members are listed below. Also call or email the sponsor, Senator Tim Keller from SE Albuquerque, 505-986-4260 or tk@timkellerfornewmexico.com.

Please call and let committee members know tha an increase in labor costs in this uncertain economy will mean fewer jobs, and higher prices of goods and services. The more wages that have to be paid to each individual the fewer individuals will be hired, the more cost will have to be shifted to the consumer. The bottom line of this equals job loss and higher prices. Businesses cannot afford higher wages without raising prices and there is only so much the public is willing to pay for a burger.

Minimum wage is an entry level wage paid to first time job seekers or new employees who must be trained. Good employees are rewarded with pay rates equal to their skill and knowledge. Mandated raises reward entry level and low-skilled employees at the expense of those who have been employeed for years. There is only so much money an employer can allocate to wages before a business becomes unprofitable and is forced to close. We have seen far too many closings and layoffs this year, we certainly don’t need more.

By increasing wages for labor intensive businesses like restaurants, who have more employees per customer sale (61,100 restaurant employees in New Mexico in 2004), you would put restaurants at a competitive disadvantage to grocery stores (20,300 employees in 2004) that do not have as many employees per customer. Restaurants are already making hard choices of laying off employees because of skyrocketing labor and foodcosts. New Mexico should be finding ways to support businesses rather than adding costs to their bottom line.

The legislature should be considering legislation to decrease the burden of the recent minimum wage increase on small businesses rather than increase the burden on our medium size employers.

Link to CPI index 1913 through 2008

Monday (Room 303), Wednesday & Friday (Room 311) – 2:00 p.m.

Senator Phil A. Griego (D) Chair
Senator Lynda M. Lovejoy (D) Vice Chair
Senator Kent L. Cravens (R) Member
Senator Dianna J. Duran (R) Member
Senator Timothy M. Keller (D) Member
Senator George K. Munoz (D) Member
Senator John M. Sapien (D) Member
Senator William E. Sharer (R) Member
Senator David Ulibarri (D) Member
Senator Mark Boitano (R) Ranking Member

The New Mexico Restaurant Association’s mission is to empower the food and beverage industry by promoting and protecting common values and interests. It has more than 1,000 members in 111 cities all over New Mexico, who join together for meetings, seminars and the hospitality industry awards to honor the industry’s top achievers. It has actively represented and promoted the food service industry in New Mexico since