We think, as testimony continues to be heard on this legislation, lawmakers should be sure to listen to people in the restaurant industry, especially servers who depend on tips. There is room for compromise. We could see, for example, setting the minimum wage at $10 and raising the minimum wage for tipped employees — perhaps by the same $2.50 an hour that the statewide minimum would increase. Cities, too, should still have the opportunity to set a higher pay, just as Santa Fe does with its “living wage,” now $11.40 an hour.
The goal should be to raise the minimum wage and give service workers a higher base pay without upending the business model for restaurants and other service-based industries. We can do this.
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