NM: Albuquerque Leaders Reach Deal on Minimum Wage

Albuquerque's City Council President Martin Heinrich has reached a deal with the Mayor to increase Albuquerque's minimum wage to $7.50 an hour by 2009. While the final ordinance is not yet worked out, it may provide a $1.00 an hour allowance to employers who provide $2,500 per year in health care or child care benefits. The move comes after New Mexico's Senate killed minimum wage legislation earlier this year. Santa Fe already has a higher minimum wage. Passage in Albuquerque could help force the issue at the state level. Similar city level minimum wage initiatives are spreading across the country, even as living wage ordinances, a closely related cousin, get most of the limelight. For more on city level minimum wages, check out the Brennan Center for Justice's policy brief on the subject.