SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed a proposal by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that would have increased New Mexico’s minimum wage to the fourth highest in the nation.
Martinez followed through on an earlier threat and rejected the measure on Friday that would have boosted the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour from $7.50. The governor said the proposed increase would have cost the state jobs.
Martinez reiterated that she would have signed an increase in the hourly wage rate to $7.80, making it the same as Arizona’s minimum wage.
Martinez is up for re-election in 2014, and Democrats likely will try to use the minimum wage veto against her.
Only Washington, Oregon and Vermont have minimum wages higher than $8.50 an hour. Washington is the highest at $9.19 an hour.