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We're Watching HB206, Which Could Kill Jobs

By Rob Black of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry

This year ACI is focused on supporting New Mexico’s Jobs Package in Santa Fe, creating more paychecks for New Mexican’s. However, we are also looking at the bills that create pink slips and kill jobs. One such bill was HB247, entitled “Increase Corporate Income Tax Rates”, and it aimed to do exactly that.

 By Etta Pettijohn

Several firearms bills cleared a key House committee this week and are scheduled for debate on the Floor in both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature in coming days.

Two of the most contentious ones would require background checks on private gun sales; and allow family members, ex family members, stepchildren, former spouses (whether they are residing in the same dwelling or not) and a host of others to seek ex-parte court orders to take guns temporarily from someone they believe is an immediate threat to themselves or others. Lawmakers voted along party lines, with democrats voting for and republicans against the measures.

By Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Fair pay for honest work. Let’s start there, where I think we can all agree.

Too many New Mexicans, however, are trying to make a life or jumpstart a young working career out of what is effectively spare change.

Workers and students and part-time working parents all across New Mexico are taking home too little, trying to stretch dollars as far as they’ll go to pay for basic necessities.

Op-Ed by Rep. Jim Townsend, House Minority Leader

Our Constituents should not have to read the fine print in order to see how their tax dollars are spent and by whom. Accounting for individual earmarking and capital outlay isn’t always transparent, but it should be.

Historically, Legislators are awarded equal amounts of Capital Outlay to take home to their Districts. Each Legislator has the ability to publicize their use of those funds, which some do and some do not. If we really want transparency, every legislator should publicize every capital outlay project every time. These expenditures are very important to every district and most critical to the smaller and sparsely populated areas. Rural districts don’t have the same ability as the Albuquerque and Bernalillo areas. In those more populated areas, there are many Representatives and Senators to combine capital outlay funds. However, in rural New Mexico each Legislator may represent two to six counties and must divide their capital outlay among many areas.

by New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales

There is new leadership for our state’s classrooms, bringing winds of change that are long overdue. The new Secretary of the Public Education Department, recently appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, is Karen Trujillo – a New Mexican with over a decade teaching in the classroom and twenty years in teachers’ professional development. Special Advisor Pedro Noguero is an internationally recognized counselor and researcher to schools seeking improvement. The Governor called her seven education appointees an “all-star team,” and she is right. They bring hands-on understanding of the classroom, deep expertise in the areas where we most need it, with a combined 100-plus years of experience in New Mexico among them.

Gov. Lujan Grisham holds a powerful vision for what classrooms can be in New Mexico. She has backed it up by calling for a historic education budget in the year ahead, a $500 million increase to transform public education. Key components include more summer learning for kids, a big investment to improve the education of at-risk children, and curriculum and skills needed to prepare students for college and careers. This is all part of what the governor has described as a public education “moonshot.” It is out-of-the-box thinking – exactly what this state needs right now. 

Her proposal includes:

A six percent pay raise for teachers and other school personnel. This increase is necessary because our educators are some of the lowest-paid in the country, causing a huge teacher shortage in our schools.

Sixty million dollars to increase the number of quality pre-kindergarten slots for children across the state.

Five million dollars for more vocational and technical skills to prepare more students for the workforce.

Outdoor recreation activities and associated expenditures by people engaging in leisure time activities remains a mostly untapped reservoir of economic potential for a New Mexico economy. We are continuously challenged to find new revenue streams to pay for education, infrastructure, health care, and the myriad demands on state funds. As concerns emerge that protect and preserve our fragile natural resources of air, soil and water while creating a sustainable valued sector of the New Mexico economy, this initiative can very possibly be a major part of the state’s economic development strategy. While a detailed accounting of all private and community wide benefits and costs associated with expansion of this outdoor recreation sector, which provides more jobs than the oil and gas industry nation-wide, is still to be fully developed. By focusing on the outdoor sector, the state’s leaders can provide a sustainable addition and even a mode of transition from reliance on the energy extraction industry.

Op-Ed by Rep. Rod Montoya

The opening weeks of the 2019 Legislative session have proven just how out-of-touch Democrats are with the people they’re supposed to represent. They are so committed to their radical agenda that they are breaking the rules to impose it.

Before the legislative session even began, Governor Lujan-Grisham presented an unsustainable budget proposal, growing government spending to outrageous levels. The recurring budget she submitted is a 12.7% increase—more than Governor Martinez increased spending in eight years! This irresponsible proposal is only slightly worse than that of the Democrats in the legislature who are proposing a 10.6% year-over-year increase.

By Randy Randall, Executive Director, Tourism Santa Fe
Tania Armenta, CEO, Visit Albuquerque
Tonya Stinson, Executive Director, Farmington Convention & Visitors Bureau
Philip San Filippo, Economic Development Director, Las Cruces

Tourism is one of the largest employment and revenue sectors for the state - employing over 100,000 people, bringing in $6.6 billion in revenue and paying in $660 million in state and local taxes. Whether someone is making the decision to move to or retire in New Mexico, buy a vacation home, or open a business in our state, the first point of entry for most people is as a visitor. For many, the message that had them consider a trip to New Mexico was a well-placed New Mexico True ad.

Live from Silver City

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