In a unanimous vote, the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday passed an ordinance that will set the county's minimum wage at $10.66 per hour.
The ordinance, sponsored by commissioners Miguel Chavez and Liz Stefanics, will effectively match county minimum wages with city minimum wages.
"People who work in a community should be able to live in a community," Commissioner Kathy Holian said to a packed audience of supporters in the commission's chamber.
Commissioners asked the audience members who supported the ordinance. Most of the several dozen onlookers, if not all, raised their hands (photo above). Members of the labor-affiliated group Working New Mexico helped push the ordinance, which goes into effect in 60 days.
"Let's not rush this," said Chavez.
The ordinance ties changes of the minimum wage rate to future changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Under the ordinance, contractors with the county must pay also employees the new minimum wage.
Commissioner Robert Anaya asked county officials about communication and enforcement of the ordinance.
County Attorney Stephen Ross replied that code enforcement officers as well as sheriff's deputies would have the power to enforce the ordinance.
An amendment by Anaya that would have split the minimum wage rate at $9 per hour in one half of the county and $11 an hour in the another half failed.
The state minimum wage is $7.50 an hour. Last session the Legislature failed to pass measures that would have put the question to voters of whether to raise that rate.