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Workers petition NM governor for minimum wage hike

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- A labor union-affiliated group is urging New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to sign a minimum wage increase.

A spokeswoman for the group called Working America said 1,200 signatures and photo petitions were delivered Monday to the governor's office in support of a measure approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature to increase New Mexico's minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 an hour.

Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell called the petitions a "political stunt." He said the governor will veto the legislation because it would make the state's minimum wage the fourth highest in the nation and could cause businesses to reduce jobs.

Lawmakers rejected a proposal backed by the governor to raise the hourly minimum wage to $7.80, which is the same as Arizona.