Gear Up for the 2015 Legislative Session

  • Post published:January 16, 2015
  • Post category:Issues

NMBC Legislative Initiatives: The NMBC presented the following initiatives to all legislators earlier this month. We will be sure to keep all accountable as these issues are presented in committee and on the Senate and House floor:

1) Right to Work: All workers should be given free choice regarding union membership and dues. New Mexico’s workers and businesses would benefit greatly from Right to Work legislation passed in 2015.

2) Permanent Fund: The land grant permanent fund was established to provide for the financial needs of the state after its natural resources are depleted. It should never be used as an additional source of funding to expand or prop up government programs. Lawmakers should take note of the Severance Tax Fund as a graphic example of poor stewardship. In the 1990’s, the allocation of severance tax revenue was set at 50% invested in the permanent fund and 50% for bonding capital projects. Lawmakers changed the allocations so that 95 percent of severance taxes now fund capital projects and only 5 percent is invested. Because of those changes, the amount going into the Severance Tax Fund dropped from $136 million in 2000 to just $85 in 2013.

3) New company incentives, such as LEDA and JTIP funding: The NMBC supports the use of limited incentives to entice new companies to our state so long as it does not harm or create unfair competition against existing New Mexico businesses. Any consideration for additional LEDA, JTIP or other state funds for new company incentives should include strengthened rules regarding their use as well as strict claw back parameters.

4) Environmental law: It is critical to have responsible laws that do not excessively limit any industry from producing valuable resources and jobs while assuring the protection of our lands, water and air. Productive use of our lands while protecting the environment is achievable, but following an aggressive environmental agenda at any cost is neither wise nor productive. Mice, fowl and lizards should not have more rights than our people.

5) Low income utility or other rates: Legislation which would create new or further existing socialized or low income rates should be opposed. The NM Supreme Court determined in 1984 that “Establishing a … rate program which differentiates between economically needy individuals who receive the same service is unjustly discriminatory” and that is still true today.

6) Wages: The 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.

7) New Mexico Tax Code: New Mexico has one of the worst aggregate tax situations among all states. The tax code currently contains disincentives for businesses locating, expanding or staying in the state. It should be completely rewritten based on the impact of business growth and expansion of private sector jobs without harming individuals and retirees.

8) State Rights: The NMBC encourages New Mexico’s elected officials to take steps to protect our lands, business opportunities and cultural traditions from increasing federal regulation, laws and executive orders. The federal government owns nearly 42% of all land in New Mexico and recent executive orders have taken control of over a half million more acres. In addition, regulations and restrictions by federal environmental and land management agencies have become increasingly burdensome for New Mexico agricultural, energy and other businesses.

Call to Action: If you have not contacted the Public Regulation Commissioners about the current case on the San Juan Generating Station, please do so now! More information on the case can be found HERE.

The NMBC has membership opportunities for everyone! CLICK HERE to get more information.