March 14, 2003
Senate OK's Bill To Kill Living-Wage Ordinance
The Associated Press
SANTA FE A bill that supporters say would invalidate Santa Fe's "living wage" ordinance and prevent other communities from enacting similar laws passed the Senate on Friday.
The bill was approved on a vote of 21-13 although its opponents immediately asked to have the legislation reconsidered.
The vote on whether to reconsider the bill was then delayed until Saturday.
The legislation would prohibit local governments from establishing a minimum wage that exceeds the federal rate, which currently is $5.15 an hour.
The Santa Fe City Council last month approved a minimum wage ordinance that phases in a $10.50 hourly rate by 2008 for businesses and nonprofits with with 25 or more employees. The minimum wage would increase to $8.50 an hour in January.
Business owners who contend the ordinance will cripple the capital city's economy sued the city this week to have the ordinance overturned.