Minimum wage bill has party-line split

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Local legislators exhibit a party-line split in the debate over whether to raise up the state’s minimum wage. Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, and Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, think if the minimum wage were raised from $5.15 to $7.50 as proposed, job cuts would result. “I think it hurts the economy. […]

War of wages: Some legislators proposing state minimum wage to combat with state’s poverty

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By Marlena Hartz Judy Crisp spends six days a week inside a cramped cigarette shop on a bumpy Clovis side street. For every hour she spends there, she earns $5.75. That is 60 cents above the federal minimum wage level. The single mother of two teenagers said she can barely afford the apartment where she […]

Minimum wage bill moving through Legislature

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — A minimum wage hike to $7.50 an hour easily passed a House committee on Thursday and even its opponents acknowledged some increase appears inevitable this year. The House Labor and Human Resources Committee voted 5-2 along party lines — Democrats for and Republicans against — for a bill that […]

Senate floor leader proposes tax break to soften minimum wage increase

The Associated Press SANTA FE — A top Democratic leader in the Senate is proposing a tax credit to help small businesses cope with the costs of paying their workers a higher minimum wage. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, introduced a measure Wednesday to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.50 an hour […]

House speaker pushes minimum wage ahead

The Associated Press SANTA FE — House Speaker Ben Lujan pledged Thursday to push ahead with a proposal to boost the state’s minimum wage to $7.50 an hour starting next year rather than phasing in the increase over three years as recommended by Gov. Bill Richardson. Lujan, D-Santa Fe, was joined by chairmen of key […]

Bingaman makes rounds in Portales

By Tony Parra U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman spoke to a Portales gathering on a few topics residents dealing with health care and wind energy on Friday at noon at Mark’s Eastern Grill, culminating Bingaman’s tour in Portales. Bingaman (D-N.M.) spoke about voters and asked people at the gathering to encourage young people to come out […]

Board approves addition for school

Tony Parra Budget discussions dominated Tuesday night’s Portales Municipal School Board meeting. School board members approved an agreement between the school district and Greer Stafford Inc. for a new wing at Brown Early Childhood Center. The agreement requires the project not exceed the allocated $1.5 million before taxes. “(Cost) is going to be on a […]

Officials want to raise minimum water level for Ute

Jack King Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority board members voted Wednesday to recommend raising the minimum water level to which Ute Lake will be allowed to fall. Officials said raising the level — called the “minimum pool level” — will give additional protection to recreation and tourism in Ute Lake, but will slightly reduce […]