Min Wage: Victory or Defeat?

As expected, the Bernalillo County Commission last night voted to approve an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $8.50 per hour. The minimum wage will increase annually based on inflation with no correction for a recession. In addition, it provided for criminal penalties for anyone proven to be in noncompliance with the ordinance.

The New Mexico Business Coalition showed up in force to oppose this ordinance. We want to thank our friends who supported this effort: the New Mexico Restaurant Association, the ABQ and Sandoval County Tea Party, Americans for Prosperity and NMBC volunteer leaders Sylvia Bokor and Mike Nagel who gathered hundreds of petition signatures in opposition to the ordinance.

We especially thank Commissioner Wayne Johnson for taking the lead in this fight and Commissioner Lonnie Talbert for his strong support. Despite their valiant efforts to amend the ordinance to make it slightly less harmful, the ordinance passed as written.

Where’s the victory for our pro-business contingency? We showed up in unprecedented numbers. We changed the conversation from one of purely entitlement to a view from those who understand the true ramifications of this ordinance.

We took note of the three commissioners who supported this bad measure: Commissioner Art De La Cruz, sponsor; Maggie Hart Stebbins, Chair, and Debbie O’Malley, Vice Chair. These three commissioners sat with total disregard for the many who stood in opposition; they showed no respect for their constituents and others who attempted to contact them by phone or email.

Decisions like the passage of this ordinance will not change until there are more probusiness members of the commission.

We lost the battle last night to stop this bad piece of legislation, but we fired up our base. In the end, it is this new found energy to stand up and be counted that will take us further than a single victory.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who fought for free enterprise!

Become a member of the New Mexico Business Coalition Today and join our effort to make New Mexico a prosperous place for businesses and individuals.

Contact the New Mexico Business Coalition at (505) 836-4223 or nmbiz@nmbizcoalition.org for more information.