New Mexico

LC businesses concerned minimum wage increase going into effect a year before schedule

Las Cruces Minimum Wage Increase...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A group of Las Cruces business owners told City Council Monday they were caught by surprise when they learned a minimum wage increase was scheduled to go into effect January 2018.

Several business and city leaders argue the increase was meant to be applied until January 2019.

City Council voted to increase the minimum wage in 2014. The first increase - to $8.40 an hour - went into effect January 2015. Two years later, the minimum wage increased to $9.20 an hour. Two years from now, it will increase to $10.10 an hour.

City Council members, except for District 2 Representative Olga Pedrosa, agreed a mistake was made on the ordinance.

An ordinance will be presented for the first reading on November 20, 2017. Council will then meet again in December to decide on correcting the ordinance or leaving it as is.

Regardless of what happens, City Council member Gill Sorg told ABC-7 all of Las Cruces stands to benefit from a minimum wage increase. "This is going to be good for all citizens in Las Cruces. We have a poverty issue here, we have high percentage of poverty here. This is just one tool that the city government, or any government can do to help with our poverty."