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New Mexico considers hourly $15 minimum for state workers

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Momentum appears to be building behind proposals to lift minimum pay in New Mexico state government to $15 an hour for at least 1,200 public workers who make less than that, amid a state budget surplus and national trends toward higher wages.

State Personnel Office Director Ricky Serna confirmed that efforts are underway to increase bottom-tier state salaries and boost overall state government payroll for rank-and-file employees at executive agencies. His agency oversees compensation guidelines for nearly 17,000 employees at executive agencies.

Lead House budget negotiator Patricia Lundstrom said Monday that bottom-rung pay is hurting state recruitment and retention.