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.

New Mexico consistently ranks 49th nationwide for education. How’s that working out for our people? Obviously not well. Our kids are not receiving a quality education and some can’t read when they graduate – if, in fact, they do graduate. In addition, companies often use our educational system as yet another reason to avoid our state.

Can we do better? Of course! There is little place to go but up.

The 2017 Legislative Session got underway last week and it’s shaping up to be a busy one. Click here to check out the bills that have already been filed – over 370 and counting!

Just prior to the session, NMBC initiated a survey to gain insight on what issues are most important to New Mexicans. We used the responses to shape our 2017 NMBC Priorities and are making sure that all the lawmakers in Santa Fe are taking note of what you had to say.

We read every comment and very much appreciate the feedback!

Here’s a glimpse of what NMBC survey responders had to say on the potential of government-mandated minimum wage increases in the range of $10 - $15 per hour:

For too long, the EPA has ignored the impact of its regulations on the lives and livelihoods of the men and women who make things in America. Manufacturers and other business owners want to see improvements at the EPA so that the goals of environmental stewardship and economic growth can be achieved at the same time. President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator signals that change is finally coming.

Based on unofficial projections, the state Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) will pay out a record-high $688 million for public schools and other beneficiaries in the coming budget year. That amount is based on a 5 percent withdrawal rate. But there is some bad news.

When it comes to important issues like jobs, our economy, the New Mexico budget deficit and the upcoming legislative session – NMBC provides the perfect venue to discuss all of these issues at the BASH (Business and Social Hour), this Thursday, January 12!

Business and community leaders will be at the BASH along with Albuquerque Mayoral Candidates, state and local elected officials and more. Richard Anklam, President and Executive Director of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute will provide insightful comments and you don’t want to miss what Carla Sonntag, NMBC President and Founder, is going to cover!

As followers and members of NMBC, I want you to know firsthand about an unfortunate situation that has received some recent media attention, and that affects our efforts to advance important issues for businesses in New Mexico.

In December, the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM) published false and defamatory claims about me and my family. In an email sent to Republicans in our state, the RPNM said I or my family authored anonymous emails that criticized candidates in the recent RPNM election. The RPNM also attacked my integrity and character.

The 2017 New Mexico legislative session will be starting soon and based on the bills that have been pre-filed, elected officials are full of ideas on how to change our lives through legislation. Do YOU want to see more regulation, increased taxes and more money taken from our permanent funds for an education system that needs a complete overhaul before it needs more money? From what we've heard, the answer is a resounding 'No!'

NMBC recently conducted a survey, asking for your input on topics such as minimum wage increases, the state budget, addressing crime, tax reform and more. We got some amazing responses and thoughtful feedback that we'll be sharing at the BASH (Business and Social Hour) on January 12.

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