Legislature: Guaranteed Minimum Wage For High Schoolers Passes House


High school students will no longer receive a sub-minimum wage for their after-school or summer jobs under new legislation passed by the New Mexico House of Representatives Sunday.  

Currently, employers are only required to pay students $8.50 per hour instead of the state’s standard minimum wage of $10.50 per hour. Sponsored by Representative Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces), Senate Bill 35: Minimum Wage for Secondary School Students updates this outdated law to ensure that all workers receive New Mexico’s established minimum wage.  

“As a state, we rightly prohibit differentiating pay rates to individuals based on their gender, race, and many other factors, yet our working high schoolers are paid less simply based on their age,” said Rep. Miguel Garcia. “Often, these students are working alongside adults, doing the exact same job, yet making $2 less every hour. Rather than disincentivizing the students who take the initiative to use free time to earn their own money, SB 35 sends the important message that their work is equally valued and worthwhile.”  

After passing the House Floor in a 40-25 vote, Senate Bill 35 now goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.