New Mexico (May 22, 2018) — The New Mexico Business Coalition (NMBC) made a sizeable contribution to the fund set up for defense of county Right to Work ordinances thanks to the generosity of some enthusiastic business owners. The $20,000 contribution is the first of many to help assure that counties can focus on what could be the single best action a county can take to diversify its economy, attract new business, and create jobs.
“I’ve been supporting the passage of Right to Work (RTW) legislation at the state level for 20 years,” said Carla Sonntag, President and Founder of the New Mexico Business Coalition. “With over 60 percent approval rating from New Mexico registered voters, it was time for a different path forward to make RTW a long awaited reality in New Mexico.”
We are using a court tested RTW ordinance and benefiting from the experience of attorney Brent Yessin to lead the effort. Yessin helped pave the path we are following in New Mexico from his work in Kentucky, the first state to successfully pass county ordinances. Ultimately with multiple Kentucky counties on board with RTW, a state RTW law was passed and signed into law. “We are using the same ordinance and the same county by county plan that worked in Kentucky here in New Mexico,” said Brent Yessin.
Why is Right to Work an issue NMBC is willing to invest time and money in? Real disposable income is about $2,250 higher and wages are almost $1,600 higher in Right to Work states as compared to non-Right to Work states according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In addition, employment growth in Right to Work states is over double that of non-Right to Work states. Executives heading economic development organizations in New Mexico have told NMBC that many corporate site-selectors consider Right to Work as a yes or no, pass or fail category.
Sonntag said, “I’ve been told that having Right to Work is not the only consideration for a company looking to expand or move its headquarters to New Mexico, but not having Right to Work can close doors and end the conversation before it gets started in many cases.”
In the first full year after Kentucky became a Right to Work state (2017), it saw over $9 billion dollars in corporate investments and 17,000 new jobs. In addition, last week, an aluminum company announced plans for $300 million dollar factory with 125 new jobs in Kentucky.
Along with others in the state who value increased worker freedom, NMBC is working to see the same kind of opportunities here in New Mexico. Currently four counties have passed a Right to Work ordinance: Sandoval, Otero, Lincoln, and Chaves. And the good news is that there are several other counties in various stages of consideration in passing RTW ordinances.
When it comes to how money is being raised for the RTW Legal Defense Fund, NMBC is leveraging a grass-roots network it has built over the past nine years. NMBC has had financial support come in from numerous businesses that provided the initial $20,000 contribution.
Sonntag said, “With support from businesses statewide and NMBC contributing to the Right to Work defense fund, New Mexico counties can focus on the important work of passing a RTW ordinance without being concerned about defense costs.”
Sonntag concluded, “Until officials at the state level decide they truly want to improve New Mexico’s economic outlook and job opportunities, NMBC is happy to see County Commissioners making bold decisions to assure they are helping working families and providing the best prospects for their constituents.”
The New Mexico Business Coalition (NMBC) is a statewide nonpartisan, probusiness organization and state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturing. NMBC focuses on improving the business environment for companies and the quality of life for all New Mexicans. Its nonpartisan educational efforts focus on providing New Mexicans the facts about issues impacting business opportunities and job creation in our state. For more information, please visit our website at www.nmbizcoalition.org