Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Raises in Works for State Workers.(New Mexico)

Byline: Journal Staff Report

'Living Wage' Is Key Phrase for Legislators

SANTA FE Sen. Manny Aragon, D-Albuquerque, last week asked the state personnel office for a definition of "living wage" and a tally of what bringing low-paid state workers up to that salary level would cost.

Pay increases for state workers are on the table this year as the Legislature considers what to do with $416 million in "new money" projected for the fiscal year starting in mid-2001.

The federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. The lowest-paid state workers, seasonal employees, can earn as little as $5.24 an hour. That translates to an annual salary of about $10,900, enough to keep a single earner out of poverty, according to numbers used by the U. …

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