New Mexico First’s legislative platform comes from consensus‐driven town hall deliberations. The two‐day statewide town halls are typically comprised
of 200 or more people representing urban, rural and tribal communities. Participants include students, parents, educators, nonprofit and business professionals,
and government officials. New Mexico First is pleased to advance high priority legislation that is based on the 2016 economy town hall recommendations.
Local economic development in the state has been chronically underfunded. In the 1990s, the New Mexico Legislature took the important first step of creating the Local Economic Development Act. LEDA enables state and local governments to offer money, land, buildings and infrastructure to qualifying entities for eligible economic development projects. It also allows municipalities and counties to ask for voter approval to impose an infrastructure gross receipts tax (GRT) from which the revenue may be used for economic development purposes.
On behalf of the 2016 statewide town on economic development:
New Mexico First’s town hall implementation thus recommends the following actions for the 2019 legislative session:
SB 17: Gross receipts for certain nonprofits: would impose gross receipts tax on nonprofits, but only when they operate within a national laboratory. This will protect the state from losing millions of tax revenue if Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by a nonprofit. Passed by legislature, vetoed by governor
HB 38: Wireless consumer advanced infrastructure: creates rules and procedures under which wireless service providers may obtain use of rights of way owned by local governments to place small wireless-service equipment. Passed by legislature, signed by governor
HB 207: Library broadband infrastructure fund: proposes to create the nonreverting library broadband infrastructure fund to be managed by the department of information technology and used to match grant money, support grant application preparation and compliance and for mapping and support materials for broadband at public, tribal and school libraries. Passed by legislature, signed by governor
New Mexico First led the effort to pass 2017’s SJM18 family support services info to LFC (“cliff effect memorial”). This memorial is one of the major consensus recommendations that came from our economy town hall. The memorial requires state agencies that oversee family support services to provide the legislative finance committee (LFC) with eligibility thresholds and related information for participation in safety net programs. Information will later be used to recommend how to smooth cliff effects for at least child care support services. We are grateful to Sen. Ortiz Y Pino and Rep. Jason Harper for their bipartisan sponsorship of this legislation. Passed both chambers unanimously.
HB 86: Caregiver leave act: requires that all employees of public and private entities within the state be allowed to use accrued sick leave to care for family members. Passed legislature, vetoed.
HB 147: Workforce training residency requirement: amends the residency requirement to participate in the industrial development training program (i.e. JTIP) from one year to one day, thus improving access to job training for people seeking employment – including those who have relocated to New Mexico recently. The bill also grows the potential workforce for employers. Passed legislature, signed by governor.
The economy town hall called for reform to expand broadband access statewide, including in rural and tribal areas. New Mexico First endorsed several 2017 bills aligned to this goal:
SB 53: PRC jurisdiction over local exchanges: updates the New Mexico telecommunications act to better allow for developing broadband throughout out state. Passed, signed by governor
HB 60: Broadband infrastructure development: amends local economic development act (LEDA) to allow those funds to be used for increasing access to broadband when used for economic development purposes. Passed, signed by governor
SB 24: Local govt broadband infrastructure: amends the infrastructure development act to allow for local governments to develop broadband infrastructure. Passed, vetoed, awaiting judicial decision
Economy town hall participants also called for comprehensively restructuring the tax code, based on a sound research effort. 2017’s HB 191-oil and gas school tax to stabilization reserve requires the interim revenue stabilization and tax committee to continue to study tax reform proposals from the 2017 session and make recommendations regarding reforming the gross receipts tax.
HB 191: Oil and gas school tax to stabilization reserve passed, vetoed
HB 202: Tax of businesses without physical presence: expands reach of New Mexico gross receipts tax to some vendors outside New Mexico who sell products, including selling products over the internet, thus enabling the state to earn taxes on some internet sales (like most other states do). Passed, vetoed
HB 58: Rulemaking requirements: provides a detailed, uniform process for state agencies to process and adopt rules and regulations. Passed, signed by governor