In June 2017, New Mexico had an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, and it was ranked 42nd by Forbes for growth prospects. Its poverty rate is 20.4 percent, and New Mexico’s college attainment is just 26.5 percent. The state also ranks 49th for educational quality.
How do we explain to our children that we, the business and political leaders of our state, have failed to provide them with the prosperity and opportunity they deserve?
Well it’s time we stop explaining our failures and start taking the bold and necessary steps to secure a future for young New Mexicans and attract talented people from other parts of the country. One of the things we can do is let employees decide if they want to join a union rather than forcing them to do so.
Right-to-work laws allow workers to opt out of union membership and dues without fear of losing their jobs. Twenty eight states have right-to-work laws on their books, including nearly all of New Mexico’s neighbors. But thanks to a recent federal court decision, local governments can pass their own right-to-work ordinances. And that is exactly what Sandoval County and the City of Rio Rancho have decided to do.
It has always been important for economic growth, but as more and more states go right-to-work, it has become an absolute necessity. And it is popular, too: In New Mexico, right-to-work polls favorably at 60 percent. Nationally, nearly three out of four Americans approve of right-to-work, according to a Gallup survey.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the New Mexico legislature will pass a state right-to-work anytime soon. That is why we are supporting the push for local ordinances in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, and any other jurisdiction in the state that wants to take the prosperity of its citizens into its own hands.
With that said, stay tuned, this is a topic that won’t be going away any time soon…..