When it comes to energy production, New Mexico and the U.S. can (and should) learn from other countries’ experiences concerning clean, affordable AND reliable energy. Germany, for example, recently faced mass blackouts because the wind didn’t blow and the sun didn’t shine when power was needed. The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that wind and solar power plants under-performed in January, 2017, because of cloudy weather with little or no wind, setting the stage for massive blackouts. The bottom line appears to be that Germany’s green energy approach is failing to meet production goals sufficient to provide grid stability - even after spending $1.1 trillion dollars. Read more HERE.

The National Mood is Improving – How about You?

The USA mood and key indicators of the economy point to better times ahead: In preliminary figures provided to NMBC by NAM (National Association of Manufacturers), the consumer sentiment rebounded in April after pulling back somewhat in the prior two months. Confidence remained high and not far from January’s 13-year record. Indeed, the underlying figures suggest that Americans remain quite upbeat. That message is also being conveyed in the spending data, with retail sales up 5.2 percent over the past 12 months. The American consumer has been more willing to open his/her pocketbook, especially when compared to this time last year.

Business owners dealing with other people’s data, please take note: The Governor signed HB 15 Data Breach Notification Act. This new law requires notice be given to persons who are affected by a security breach involving their personal identifying information (PII).

It also requires a person who owns or maintains computerized data elements that include PII to notify each New Mexico resident whose unencrypted PII is reasonably believed to have been subject to a security breach, generally within 45 days following discovery of the breach. The bill sets out required contents and methods of notification.

In the latest National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Outlook survey, 93.3 percent of manufacturers across the nation are either somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook, up 77.8 percent from December 2016. It was the second straight quarter where the outlook exceeded its historic average and there were strong gains in confidence for all firm sizes.

The NMBC Farmington Energy BASH (Business and Social Hour) last week, themed “Engaging the Community in Energy”, brought out a huge crowd. Check out this great write up in the Farmington Daily Times about the event: Energy BASH served as forum for energy advocates.

We are glad New Mexicans are ready to engage in our state's future, because YOU are the difference between success and status quo (or worse). We must unite on the side of common sense to defend New Mexico’s most important trades: the extractive industries and energy production.

Farmington Energy BASH with Secretary Ken McQueen, today, 3/30/17, 5-7 pm, is sold out! If you are registered, we look forward to seeing you tonight. If you didn't get into this event, you can catch a similar event, "Engaging the Community in Energy" with Secretary McQueen for the Rio Grande corridor. It will be held May 11, 2017, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, in Albuquerque. Location TBD.

Last chance to register for the Farmington Energy BASH (Business and Social Hour), featuring Ken McQueen, Cabinet Secretary, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources. Seating is limited; 5 seats left. ONLY pre-registered guests will be admitted. Register here.

High interest for the ENERGY BASH by The Farmington Daily Times, read the article here.

Legislative wrap up by NMBC President, Carla Sonntag. Carla will give a summary at the Energy BASH of the good, the bad and the ugly including bills that would impact taxes and energy production in New Mexico. Read more here.

Minimum Wage Call to Action: Governor Martinez is justifiably concerned about signing either minimum wage bill passed by the legislature. One at $9/hour SB386, and one at $9.25/hour HB442 are both problematic in a state that has a stagnant economy and the highest unemployment level in the nation.

We urge you to contact the Governor's office and express your opposition to these bills and encourage the Governor to veto both of them.

Bills passed with strong bipartisan support are being vetoed by the Governor. Some have veto messages and some have no comment.

Senator Brandt started a successful override measure in the Senate on the veto of HB 241 Use of Attendance in Teacher Evaluations. The Senate agreed to override the veto and obtained the necessary two-thirds vote by its members. The measure appears stopped by the House, however, which would also require two-thirds of its members to vote for an override. Rep Gentry, Minority Leader, said he’s confident that the measure will not pass the House.

Last week NMBC provided more information on the multiple proposed minimum wage increases being considered in this legislative session. We asked you, our followers, for your thoughts and feedback, because we care what you think. While the responses we got about NMBC not supporting this legislation were overwhelmingly supportive, we also got a comment that said our stand was 'B.S.'

Congratulations to Senator Neville and all of his colleagues in the Senate for doing the right thing. The Senate passed a bill sponsored by Neville based on what they thought was full and complete information. When Sen Neville received additional information after the fact regarding contributions to the Governor, he immediately notified the full Senate of the new information. The bill was recalled unanimously from the House to be tabled.

Legislative update:

HJR1 Permanent Funds for Early Childhood (Reps Moe Maestas and Javier Martinez) passed the House last night 37-32. This is a “raid the Land Grant Permanent Fund” bill that would be disastrous for the only healthy ‘permanent’ fund remaining in our state.

We applaud the people who voted against this bill. They stood strong in protecting our children’s future by opposing it. Two people went against their party’s support of the measure and we consider them the true heroes. Representatives Bobby Gonzales and Candie Sweetser, thank you for putting New Mexicans ahead of party politics!

Now the state must rely on the Senate to do the right thing and stop this bill. This is a Constitutional Amendment that goes directly to the voters, if passed in both chambers and will bypass the Governor’s veto pen.

Are we helping those who are struggling financially? Some say the increased wage will give them more disposable income to provide for their families. But what about those who make $13-$15/hour to stay home and collect government assistance? Will they re-enter the workforce for $9/hour when faced with childcare and other costs, such as transportation, to take a job?

Protecting our Children’s Future: Why does the NMBC fight to maintain our permanent funds? Because we care about our children’s education and the opportunities for their future! The NMBC opposes the efforts of some state legislators to pass constitutional amendments (CA’s) that would raid New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund. Read more in the Op-Ed titled ‘Special-Interest Groups Loving NM Permanent Fund to Death,’ written by NMBC President Carla Sonntag.

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