AP NEWS

Votes on minimum wage, abortion rights loom in New Mexico

February 6, 2019
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New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf, left, reacts to the rapid approval of 42 bills by the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M., while sitting alongside Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, right, D-Albuquerque. Grisham signed bills that span issues from teacher pensions to child foster care and public disclosures by lobbyists that had been vetoed by former Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state House of Representatives is poised to vote on Democratic-sponsored bills to raise the statewide minimum wage, guarantee abortion rights and replace the Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

House Speaker Brian Egolf planned for lengthy deliberations Wednesday on the initiatives.

The minimum wage bill has the backing of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and would raise base pay to $12 an hour in 2021. Restaurant owners opposed a provision to do away with exemptions for tipped workers and were petitioning the governor.

Leading Democrats want to remove the state’s criminal ban on abortion in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns a decision that made the procedure legal.

Votes also are looming on bills to expand background checks on firearms and ensure medical insurance coverage for contraception.