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House panel to weigh wage indexing

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SANTA FE (AP) — Voters could decide whether to increase New Mexico’s minimum wage for inflation under a proposal backed by Democratic lawmakers.

The House Voters and Elections Committee is scheduled to consider the proposal today. It’s already cleared one House committee on a party-line vote, with Democrats favoring it and Republicans opposed.

The state’s $7.50 an hour minimum wage has been in effect since 2009.

A proposed constitutional amendment would allow voters to decide whether to require automatic cost-of-living increases in the wage rate each year. Business groups have opposed the legislation.

The measure goes to the 70-member House if it’s endorsed by the Voters and Elections Committee.

The proposal would be placed on the 2014 general election ballot if it’s approved by the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

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