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The Latest: Minimum wage bill advances in New Mexico

January 23, 2019 GMT
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her State of the State address during the opening of the New Mexico legislative session at the state Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her State of the State address during the opening of the New Mexico legislative session at the state Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on activities at the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A proposal to increase the statewide minimum wage in New Mexico from $7.50 an hour gradually to $12 in 2021 has received its first committee endorsement.

The bill advanced Tuesday out of a House panel on labor issues on a 6-3 vote with only Democrats voting in support. It has yet to come to a floor vote in either chamber of the Legislature.

The bill from Democratic Reps. Miguel Garcia of Albuquerque and Joanne Ferrary of Las Cruces eventually would tie minimum pay to a federal index for inflation to ensure continued wage growth. It has the backing of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Restaurant owners are objecting to provisions that entitle tipped employees to the full statewide minimum wage, regardless of tips received.

The bill would not affect cities that mandate higher minimum wage provisions.

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1:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says more than 10,800 federal workers in New Mexico have been furloughed or are working without pay under the partial federal government shutdown.

The state’s senior senator expressed opposition Tuesday to President Trump’s proposal to reopen government in an address to members of the New Mexico state Legislature.

Trump wants $5.7 billion to start building his prized border wall and has offered to back immigration law reforms that Democrats call inadequate.

Udall says the “cruelty of this shutdown must stop” and that negotiations for stronger border security can take place later.

He also accused the Trump administration of gutting federal environmental oversight and urged state lawmakers to take action to combat global warming by better regulating methane emissions.

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12:30 p.m.

Advocates for abortion rights are chanting and unfurling banners in the New Mexico House of Representatives in support of efforts to overturn the state’s dormant ban on abortion.

A cluster of protesters chanted “repeal the ban” and hung banners from a balcony on Tuesday in the House of Representatives in violation of a prohibition on large signs in the Capitol.

Leading Democratic lawmaker and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham are seeking to remove the state’s criminal ban on abortion in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns a 1973 decision that made the procedure legal nationwide.

Several legislators yelled out for security guards and police to eject the protesters.