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.

No matter how you package it, a minimum wage increase isn't just bad for business and our state's economy; it's bad for the very people we want to help. What's the solution? The free-market system and better education or training. Learn more on NMBC's position about mandated wages from Carla Sonntag in commentary published by Albuquerque Business First, HERE.

I've received several inquiries about my defamation lawsuit against the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM) and thought I’d provide an update.

Here are the most frequently asked questions:

Legislative Heroes and Zeroes Update: Currently, over 1,100 pieces of legislation (901 Bills, 196 Memorials, 35 Resolutions) are making their way through the House and Senate. At the midpoint of the session, there are way too many ‘revenue enhancement/tax increase’ and government growth bills that do ZERO good for New Mexico on the table.

New Mexico Business Coalition Works to Repeal BLM Venting And Flaring Rule

On a recent national conference call with reporters, New Mexico Business Coalition (NMBC) president Carla Sonntag endorsed the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s “venting and flaring” rule. The rule imposes new federal restrictions on top of existing state and federal regulations dealing with methane emissions from oil and natural gas wells.

School board elections matter! School board elections are being held around the state on Tuesday, 2/7/17. If you didn't vote early, vote Tuesday.

Don't have kids in school and think it doesn't affect you? Think again! If the kids being educated in the New Mexico school system stay in New Mexico, they will follow one of two paths: 1) They will become New Mexico's workforce; or 2) They will become New Mexico's next generation of government assistance recipients.

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