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.

HJM 5 Chaco-Area Fracking Lease Moratorium (Reps Derrick J. Lente and Patricia Roybal Caballero) would stop fracking in the Chaco area. It would also hamper the industry that provides the lifeblood to our state for a full third of the New Mexico's budget.

Crazy times in the state legislature! There is too much to share, but a couple of things that need your attention:

NMBC opposes legislation that arbitrarily raises the minimum wage as it was never meant to support a family. Non-market driven increases create additional hardship on businesses and employees resulting in forced inflation and job losses that put families in a worse position. There are more productive ways to help low income families improve their economic outlook such as providing effective skills training that could help them achieve better jobs and/or pay increases.

Stop Raiding the Land Grant Permanent Fund: Our elected officials need to be reminded that responsible withdrawals from the State Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) are necessary to provide for our children’s education in perpetuity. To increase withdrawal rates and risk our children’s future is irresponsible and would jeopardize the fund.

What New Mexican’s need is accountability for the funds currently being spent: The answer is not to increase the rate of LGPF disbursements, but instead to focus on direct learning programs that yield beneficial results without violating federal requirements. That could be accomplished if the state would stop funding special interest groups and put the money into our teachers and quality educational materials.

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