Your phrase of the day for Tuesday was "minimum wage."
Minimum wage took center stage, as legislation that would have effects on the pay for those at the bottom of the economic ladder went to committee.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would have tied minimum wage increase to the consumer price index was voted down in committee
. The lone Democrat to vote against the legislation, Rep. Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces, said she did not believe the language belonged in the state constitution.
However, a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour cleared a Senate committee
after very minimal debate. It now heads to the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee where it will likely face a tougher test.
Then there is the continuing case of the Albuquerque business owner who says he isn't paying his employees the new minimum wage. See the links below for more on that.
On to the Word:
- Here is today's legislative roundup from the Santa Fe New Mexican.
- The collateral damage to the Route 66 Malt Shop owner saying he won't abide by the minimum wage ordinance? The similarly-named Route 66 Diner is getting confused for it. Route 66 Diner is abiding by the new law.
- Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says it is up to the city attorney to enforce the minimum wage law.
- Meanwhile, protesters picketed Route 66 Malt Shop.
- Albuquerque Business First reported that Eric Szeman was considering not paying the minimum wage back in January.
- New Mexico Capitol Report wrote about the minimum wage increase bill that passed and the minimum wage indexing legislation that failed. On the bill that did not pass its committee:
Rep. Monica Youngblood, right, R-Albuquerque, said Miguel Garcia had an obvious motive for trying to take the issue to voters as a constitutional amendment. That maneuver would avoid a potential veto of his minimum wage proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, Youngblood said.The bill would ahve went to voters to approve if it cleared both chambers, as it would have amended the state constitution.
- Adriana Sanchez wrote for El Grito that other western states tie their minimum wage increases to inflation.
- The persistent rumors were true -- Jason Marks is exploring a run for Attorney General.
- The initial Santa Fe gun buyback program was a success. But while the sellers were promised anonymity, their names were given out at a public meeting at City Hall.
Despite promises of anonymity for those who participate in the city of Santa Fe’s gun-buying program, the city released a list of dozens of people who got IOUs when they surrendered their guns at police headquarters after the city’s gun buyers ran out of pre-paid Visa gift cards, used to pay for firearms at events held Jan. 12 and Feb. 9.
- Nevertheless, the city wants $33,000 in additional funds for a third event.
- The Associated Press has the write-up on the budget approved by the House Appropriations and Finance Committee that is headed to the floor right now.
- Gov. Susana Martinez says she will veto a criminal expungement bill. The bill would expunge records of people who were wrongfully arrested, including in case of identity theft.
- A prosecutor says she was forced from her job in retaliation for her knowledge of the incompetence and wrongdoings of her superiors. Thom Cole takes the story to the Albuquerque Journal's front page.
- KUNM spoke to Sen. Martin Heinrich about gun safety and immigration in the second of a two-part interview. In the first part, Heinrich spoke about sequestration.
- The Los Alamos Monitor looks at first-term legislator Stephanie Garcia Richard and her term so far. The freshman Democrat has introduced 11 bills.
- The state Senate approved a bill that would give protective vests to police dogs.
- Former state Sen. Dede Feldman gives her thoughts on the legislative session. Feldman also said she wanted her readers to vote for the Albuquerque ballot question of making the threshold for runoffs 50 percent instead of 40 percent.
- The Las Vegas Optic editor and publisher is resigning to start his own business.
- The Santa Fe Reporter's feature article is about Dale Ball.
For those who know Santa Fe’s open spaces, Dale Ball is a familiar name. The Dale Ball Trails form a network of loops and circuits in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that loom just above Santa Fe. They wind around homes and through untouched expanses, and extend from Atalaya Mountain to within just a few miles of the Santa Fe National Forest’s Winsor Trail. The trails offer year-round hikes, runs, mountain-bike rides—as well as incredible and various views—to those who make use of them. And if the weather “does not permit,” the terrain makes for breathtaking jaunts on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
- Conservation groups in the Four Corners area want to clean up San Juan County rivers. Including high levels of e. Coli.
E. Coli is most often deposited into rivers through fecal matter in storm runoff, flood irrigation of grazed pastures, livestock wandering into streams and faulty or illegal septic tanks.
- An inmate accused of plotting to assassinate Justin Bieber says he is innocent. With that mention of the teen sensation, I expect the spam filter to be full.
- The Ruidoso News reports a Lincoln county commissioner suggests increasing a mill levy to pay for rural health clinics.
- Pets in poor families may qualify for pet stamps according to KRQE.
- Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the famous "Hope" poster for Barack Obama, was in Santa Fe.