This category will hold letters to the editor, as requested by at least one Beat reader. This editor agrees that letters to the editor should be separate from editorials. Letters to the editor may not reflect the opinions of the editor.
As we approach the halfway point of the 2019 legislative session, more than 1,200 bills have been introduced but the Cannabis Regulation Act, HB356, is getting more attention than most.
The Association of Commerce and Industry has not taken a position regarding legalization of adult cannabis use but we cannot support the Cannabis Regulation Act as it is written due to serious concerns over workplace safety. ACI testified against the bill’s incomplete language at a House Health and Human Services Committee hearing on Saturday, along with other business groups. We continue to work with the bill sponsors to get workplace protections added to the bill.
The bill would legalize cannabis as a recreational drug by eliminating the penalties associated with it. However, the current language does not allow employers to create a safe environment and it restricts their ability to enforce drug-free workplace policies.
This would create challenges for employers who value drug-free and safe workplaces because they would not be able to enforce workplace safety rules. Other states have introduced language that can protect employees and employers.
Jobs Package Bills Update
This year, ACI is supporting an entire armada of bills that focus on job creation and quality-of-life measures in the state. Our New Mexico’s Jobs Package bills support economic development, workforce training and more.
A bi-partisan tax reform bill, SB129, is moving through the committee process this week. On Monday, a committee substitution was given a Do Pass recommendation by the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. The bill is designed to improve fairness and transparency in tax disputes.
All of the Jobs Package bills have been heard in committees and are moving through the legislative process.
We are, however, paying close attention to several other measures that can impact the state’s business community, including efforts to raise the minimum wage and HB206, the environmental review act.
Did you know that health care crises are still the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S.?
Private insurance has failed to provide affordable, quality health care for everyone. New Mexico now has an opportunity to establish a health insurance pool to provide comprehensive, quality care to all New Mexicans at affordable premiums. By holding down costs and expanding access, the New Mexico Health Security Act would automatically cover all New Mexicans and save money for the state and its residents. The current bills HB295 and SB279 call for and are contingent on a fiscal analysis, and they would still have to be voted by the legislature once the cost analysis is done. Past analyses have shown millions in savings for the state.
The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce shares the concerns mentioned in the article below from State Representative Rebecca Dow. Please understand the severity of what may happen if these bills are approved in the New Mexico legislature and become the law of the land. Grant County receives an economic impact from Freeport-McMoRan in excess of $162 million dollars a year. Without those dollars flowing through our local economy, businesses will close. People will move away. And there will be no way that local and county government will be able to sustain their current financial budgets without the income being derived from Freeport-McMoRan’s impact dollars.
Folks, this isn’t fear-mongering, this is sharing the plain truth. If the house bill means what is says, there is no possible way that Freeport-McMoRan could comply with regulations in House Bill 220. This would mean the company could not receive the necessary ground water discharge permits… causing the mines to close. Not for a month, not for six months, not for years… FOREVER!
This news report provides the opportunity to inform America concerning Transnational Criminal Organization operations along the U.S. Border.
First, the stock and trade of the Mexican Border Smuggler is to operate right before your eyes without being noticed. They call it “sin ser visto.”
When a news crew or ordinary citizen visits the border and sees no indication of criminal activity the Border Smuggler has been successful in “sin ser visto.”
To the Editor:
The state legislature is considering spending a significant amount on technical and vocational education. How can the people of Grant County benefit for this expenditure? New Mexico has 17, two year colleges that specialize in technical and vocational education, but the closest to Silver City is in Las Cruces 100 miles away.
We have WNMU here in Silver City and WNMU does offer some technical and vocation programs granting associate and certificate degrees. The problem is that WNMU charges all of its students the same tuition and fees so that a student taking a vocational program at WNMU needs to pay about $3,400 a semester while a student in Las Cruces taking the same program at DACC pays only about $1,000 a semester. This doesn’t seem fair.
The most recent Undeniably Right column states that 78% of apprehensions on our southern border are convicted criminals, up from 45% previously.
This sounded high, so I looked at the statistics on the border patrol web site and found that 6500 of 352,000 apprehensions during FY2018 had criminal records. That works out to a bit less than 2%.
Disclaimer:This information has not been verified independently.
Every year since President Shepard took over there was an item in the audit called the “Presidential Discretionary Fund.” People close to the Foundation have told me that this fund is mainly used for presidential entertainment. However, it’s impossible to tell for sure because the Foundation will not give out any information on how they spend their money. This fund was about $50,000 a year until the 2016-17 year. In the audit 2016-17 year it appears that the discretionary fund was moved into the “Marketing and Development” entry which was $94,812 this audit. This entry was less than $2,000 in all the previous audits. So it appears that what used to be called the Discretionary Fund spent at least $92,000.