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The proposed bills could be costly for New Mexico restaurants

                                        MONEY HE MADE.  THE MINIMUM WAGE HAS BEEN A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE IN OUR STATE, AND NOW LEGISLATORS ARE DEBUTTING WHETHER SOME WORKERS CAN USE THE EXTRA HELP.  BUT NOT EVERYONE AGREES.  UNDER A REVISED VERSION OF HOUSE BILL 25, THE MINIMUM WAGE COULD INCREASE FROM 1350 IN 2024 TO 1550 NEXT YEAR.  While some argue it could be a burden on NEW MEXICO'S RESTAURANT INDUSTRY, OTHERS SAY THE MORE THE MORE THE MORE.  YOU MUST HAVE MORE PROPOSALS FROM PEOPLE, WHICH MEANS YOU SHOULD RAISE THE PRICES OF THE DISHES AND THE BEER.  BECAUSE THE PERSON PAY 15 TO 20% OR THE COMPANY HAS TO PAY ALL THE SLAVES.  BUT THEN IT'S WORSE.  I THINK IT'S VERY EXCITING.  AND I'M ALL FOR RAISING THE PRICE OR RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE, THAT I LIKE IT, THAT I DON'T GO.  THE PRICE OF LIVING DOES NOT GO UP TOO MUCH.  BEFORE THE BILL WAS PASSED, NEW MEXICO HAD ONE OF THE LOWEST MINIMUM WAGES IN THE COUNTRY.  NOW IT IS ONE OF
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The proposed bills could be costly for New Mexico restaurants

“Minimum wage was never a living wage,” said Denise Baker, co-owner of Rio Bravo Brewery.

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                Two new proposals are now being discussed to increase the State's minimum wage.  This comes weeks after the state's minimum wage rose from $7.50 to $12 an hour over three years.  It was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019. Under an amended proposal for House Bill 28, inflation adjustments may raise the minimum wage to $15.55 by 2034. According to a revised version of House Bill 25, the minimum wage could increase from $13.50 in 2024 to $15.50 in 2025. Some restaurant owners worry that the wage increase could hurt the industry  "Minimum wage was never a living wage. It was supposed to be an entry level. It was supposed to be something. that you started," Rio Bravo Brewery co-owner Denise Baker said.  "You learn a trade, or you start a business, you move on to another position, not something to live on and pay rent and all your bills."  "Everything gets inflated and then it's even worse. That's going to hurt any restaurant. especially the smaller ones. I mean, you can only raise food prices so far before nobody comes to your restaurant," he said.  "We'd have to have people tipping more, which would mean you'd have to raise the prices of your food and your beer so that people tip 15, 20 percent, or the company has to pay. The my biggest problem with this is, yes, everyone would make between $12 and $15. But as you can see, if you buy a box of eggs or a package of eggs lightly or pay your gas or electric bill, the what it does, it's just a ripple effect."  raising wages could be beneficial to low-income families and those in need of financial assistance.  "I think it's pretty exciting," New Mexico resident Ellias Arbiso said.  "I'm all for raising the price, raising the minimum wage. I just want to make sure the cost of living doesn't go up too much."  Reilly White, an economist at the University of New Mexico, thinks it's a complex issue from both sides.  "You have to look at people making minimum wage right now. Oh my gosh. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to make a little more money at the end of the day? For example, when you look at people making minimum wage most of the time, not all the time, most of the time it's younger workers with little experience, what happens is that when the minimum wage goes up, employers often respond by changing the nature of their workforce, and not just for the reasons we specified above about reducing hours or changing the matrix of it. They often hire fewer inexperienced teenage employees by hiring more experienced employees with more experience," he said.  "So while it's true that there are actually relatively few workers, there are still thousands of workers employed at the minimum wage in New Mexico, but relatively few overall who are employed exactly at the minimum wage. Moreover, it changes the nature or composition of the workforce. People with years of experience are likely to be more competitive for many of these minimum wage jobs. This changes the nature of how much of this discussion works. In the end of the day, you know, we look at other economic methods. An economic question that we're trying to solve is how do we reduce child poverty rates in New Mexico? It actually makes more sense to give families direct transfers instead of looking at the minimum wage , which is an inefficient way to do these things. So there's a lot of other things that can be done to solve the problems that come up. They're often big talking points for legislatures across the country under  re this question.  It will benefit workers earning the minimum wage, but it will likely also result in those workers potentially having fewer hours and potentially more responsibilities as well.  So that's also something to keep in mind." "People should be less concerned about inflation and more concerned about, kind of, the other big picture, the mix of things that affect the reconciliation of people's work and family lives, their ability to provide a reasonable standard of living for their children and their families," he said. "Raising the minimum wage has some positive effects, but it also has things like reducing 'hours.  It ends up creating a situation where you have greater responsibilities than expected of the employee.  So this combination of things is part of everyone's consequences.  .  It might be good, and it might not be good depending on how it is legislated.  Before the bill passed, New Mexico had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country.  It is now one of 17 states that have a minimum wage of $12 an hour. 


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                <strong class="dateline">ALBUQUERQUE, NM —</strong>                                             Two new proposals are now being discussed to increase the State's minimum wage.  This comes weeks after the state's minimum wage rose from $7.50 to $12 an hour over three years.  It was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019.

Under an amended proposal for House Bill 28, inflation adjustments could raise the minimum wage to $15.55 by 2034. Under a revised version of House Bill 25, the minimum wage could increase from $13.50 in 2024 to $15.50 in 2025.

Some restaurant owners worry that higher wages could hurt the industry.

“The minimum wage was never a living wage. It was supposed to be an entry level. It was supposed to be something you started,” Rio Bravo Brewery co-owner Denise Baker said. “You learned a trade, or you start a business, you move somewhere else, not somewhere to live and pay your rent and all your bills.”

“Everything just gets inflated and then it’s even worse. That’s going to hurt any restaurant, especially the smaller ones. I mean, you can only raise food prices so far before nobody comes to your restaurant,” he said. “We’d have to have people tipping more, which would mean you’d have to raise the prices of your food and your beer so that people tip 15, 20 percent, or the company has to pay. The my biggest problem with this is, yes, everyone would make between $12 and $15. But as you can see, if you buy a box of eggs or a package of eggs lightly or pay your gas or electric bill, what does , it’s just a ripple effect.”

Others believe the wage increase could be beneficial to low-income families and those in need of financial assistance.

“I think it’s pretty exciting,” New Mexico resident Ellias Arbiso said. “I’m all for raising the price, raising the minimum wage. I just want to make sure the cost of living doesn’t go up too much.”

Reilly White, an economist at the University of New Mexico, thinks it’s a complex issue for both sides.

“You have to look at people making minimum wage right now. Oh my gosh. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to make a little more money at the end of the day? For example, when you look at people making minimum wage most of the time, not all the time, most of the time it’s younger workers with little experience, what happens is that when the minimum wage goes up, employers often respond by changing the nature of their workforce, and not just for the reasons we specified above about reducing hours or changing the matrix of it. They often hire fewer inexperienced teenage employees by hiring more experienced employees with more experience,” he said. “So while it’s true that there are actually relatively few workers, there are still thousands of workers employed at the minimum wage in New Mexico, but relatively few overall who are employed exactly at the minimum wage. Moreover, it changes the nature or composition of the workforce. People with years of experience are likely to be more competitive for many of these minimum wage jobs. This changes the nature of how much of this discussion works. In the end of the day, you know, we look at other economic methods. An economic question that we’re trying to solve is how do we reduce child poverty rates in New Mexico? It actually makes more sense to give families direct transfers instead of looking at the minimum wage , which is an inefficient way to do these things. So there’s a lot of other things that can be done to solve the problems that come up. They’re often big talking points for legislatures across the country under re this question. It will benefit workers earning the minimum wage, but it will likely also result in those workers potentially having fewer hours and potentially more responsibilities as well. So that’s also something to consider.”

“People should be less concerned about inflation and more concerned about, somewhat, the other big picture, the mix of things that affect people’s work-life balance, their ability to provide a reasonable standard of living to their children and their families.” He said. “Raising the minimum wage has some positive effects, but it also has things like reducing hours. It ends up creating a situation where you have greater responsibilities than are expected of the employee. So that combination of things is part of of the consequences of all. It could be good, and it could not be good depending on how it is legislated.

Before the bill passed, New Mexico had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country. It is now one of 17 states that have a minimum wage of $12 an hour.

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