LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico lawmakers want to raise the minimum wage for workers in the state through proposed legislation introduced Monday.
Las Cruces area Senator William Soules along with Senator Richard Martinez have proposed a bill that would raise the minimum wage by $1 to $8.50 an hour.
"This adds money into their pockets where they are better able to feed their families," Soules said.
He says other cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe have already shown success with higher minimum wages.
Soules said he believes the increase would help with poverty in the state and said there's data indicating people living in poverty are more likely to be working minimum wage jobs.
"A lot of people in New Mexico could benefit from that change," said Mark Bernal, a student at New Mexico State University.
Soules said the increase would also benefit the economy with more people have money to spend.
"The money translates through the entire economy and helps speed up the whole local economy," Soules said.
Las Crucen Kimberly Sanchez said she is not sure how much of an impact the increase would have.
"i think it wouldn't make much of a difference but it's just like a drop of water compared to the whole ocean," Sanchez said.