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Advocates for kids call for higher minimum wage

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A group advocating for policies to help children and low-income families recommends that New Mexico raise its minimum wage and boost spending on early childhood programs, including child care and pre-kindergarten.

The group, New Mexico Voices for Children, on Monday outlined a broad policy agenda to address findings by a national survey this year that found New Mexico worst in the nation for child well-being.

The advocacy group didn’t recommend a specific amount the wage rate should be increased but said raising the hourly wage to $10.10 would help a fifth of children by increasing at least one parent’s income.

The nonprofit organization also is recommending increasing the payout from a state permanent fund to provide additional money for early childhood programs. Similar measures have failed in the past in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

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