With the prospect of a special session of the legislature fast approaching to address a looming budget crisis, the Center for Civic Policy is running this radio ad in selected areas of the state which offers our take on the issue and calls upon constituents to take action:
A thirty-second radio spot can hardly do justice to this fiscal train wreck. A bit of context is in order.
The State of New Mexico faces a serious budget deficit as the result of a shortfall in revenues. Revenue projections made back in January were overly optimistic, it seems. It now appears certain that Governor Martinez soon will call a special session of the legislature to fix a growing budget crisis.
The Governor’s answer is a 5 percent across the board cut in funding for state agencies. New revenues are off the table, she says.
To call this approach unwise would be an understatement. How about unconscionable.
Consider these facts about the quagmire in which New Mexico finds itself:
We could go on and on.
Low oil prices are cited as the cause of the crisis. But overlooked in the midst of all the hand-wringing, are the horribly irresponsible tax policies enacted in recent years.
The cold hard truth of the matter is this: The Governor is determined to protect her prized corporate tax giveaways by making New Mexico’s working families pay for them.
In 2013 Governor Martinez and the legislature gave huge tax cuts and tax breaks to large corporations, many of them out-of-state. These so-called “business incentives” were supposed to cause an explosion of job creation.
Well, it hasn’t worked. They just took the money and ran.
Today New Mexico has the 3rd highest jobless rate in the nation.
It stands to reason that our continuing underinvestment in education and healthcare is making New Mexico a less than desirable place for companies that are looking for a place to relocate.
A better answer is for legislators to say “no” to more cuts. It’s time to make corporations and the well-connected pay their fair share.
Primary Election day is Tuesday, June 7. Polls open 7 am to 7 pm.
Bernalillo County Voting Convenience Centers:
Doña Ana County Voting Convenience Centers:
The New Mexico Family-Friendly Business Award was created by the Task Force on Work Life Balance to recognize New Mexico employers and businesses that offer family-friendly employee benefits and promote increasing the number of businesses with family centered polices and work force access to them.
What are the benefits of family-friendly best practices? Here’s what the Task Force on Work Life Balance has to say:
Best practice employers foster flexibility to achieve a better balance between work and family responsibilities for all employees. From reduced absenteeism to improved productivity and job satisfaction, there are significant benefits for employees and employers in providing flexibilities for work and family balance. Work and family flexibilities ensure employers and employees balance work and family commitments by using employment arrangements that help employees manage family and lifestyle commitments while taking into account business needs. The benefits of work and family flexibilities can be achieved in all workplaces, regardless of the size of the business, by developing and implementing family-friendly workplace policies.
Happy May Day!
So we’re a tad late in getting this vid posted. But it’s soooo good and worth the wait!
Sarah takes a look at the Buffett Rule.
The battle to close the tax loophole for out-of-state corporations has been raging for a long time. But in the 2012 legislative session, something quite extraordinary happened.
After all of the years of organizing at the grassroots — and obstruction and disappointment in the corridors and committee rooms of the Roundhouse — a scaled-down version of this overdue tax reform (technically called “combined reporting”) actually passed both houses of the legislature.
Sadly, the legislative victory of the “Corporate Fair Tax Act” (SB9) was short-lived for it subsequently fell victim to Governor Susana Martinez’s veto pen.
Thus, the battle is sure to be resumed at the next legislative session.
In anticipation of this upcoming next round, the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) collaborated in sending out post-session mailers designed to educate those members of the public who reside in legislative districts represented by lawmakers who had opposed SB9. The mailers were a follow-up to pre-session mailers addressing the same issue.
One of those legislators was Senator Phil Griego, a long-time opponent of combined reporting by out-of-state corporations — and Chairman of the critical Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Now, according to a recent story in the Albuquerque Journal, Senator Griego has reservations about this educational program.
But if civic engagement is anything, it is about dialogue. And that’s what Clearly New Mexico’s Sarah Kennedy set out to do in this video. She called Senator Griego. Here’s what happened:
Sarah will be keeping us posted as this dialogue develops.
A postscript to this story:
It bears repeating. An essential component of the missions of the two organizations, CCP and SWOP, has been to educate and engage the public — and still further, to encourage this informed citizenry to engage in an accountability dialogue with their elected officials on those issues that impact their communities.
To learn more about the civic engagement by nonprofit organizations, here’s a useful commentary on Haussamen’s blog that you’ll surely want to read.
Also we recommend this excellent NMTelegram.com post on the Governor’s veto and the reaction of New Mexico’s small business community to it.
Will she or won’t she? That IS the question.
Will Governor Susana Martinez do the right thing and and sign Senate Bill 9 into law, closing the tax loophole for Big Box out-of-state retailers and give New Mexico businesses a fair shake in the bargain? Or… (shudder), will she veto the bill? (See “Countdown to Decision“.)
As Sarah Kennedy explains, time is running out!
To contact the Governor’s office:
By Matthew Reichbach
The Albuquerque City Council approved a redistricting map that will eliminate Commissioner Ike Benton’s district, which includes Albuquerque’s downtown area, and move it to the fast-growing westside part of the city. The map, which passed on a 5-4 party-line vote, uses the Rio Grande as a border.
Benton would be paired with Debbie O’Malley in a district that includes downtown and the North Valley areas of Albuquerque.
The map goes to Mayor Richard Berry who is likely to sign the redistricting map — but the battle likely won’t end there, as opponents say the map “packs” minorities in one district, diluting the minority voting strength, which would violate the Voters Rights Act.
The newly created Westside district, while expected to still be friendly to Democrats, would have a super majority of Hispanics — 82 percent. This is why opponents of the map say that the city council “packed” the district with minority voters at the expense of other districts. According to the U.S. Census, Albuquerque is 46.7 percent Hispanic.
Opponents also pointed out that with consolidation of most of the old District 3 into O’Malley’s North Valley District 2 will mean that almost all of the city’s federally designated “pockets of poverty” will be contained in a single district.
If opponents so choose, the redistricting map could join the New Mexico House of Representatives map in the courts, drawing out the process further. Insofar as the next Albuquerque municipal election is not until 2013, however, there may not be a great sense of urgency on the part of the courts in finalizing a new council map. This would be in sharp contrast to the legal battle involving the N.M. state House of Representatives map as the clock is ticking away with an impending primary election scheduled for the first Tuesday in June.
The big winner of the new map is Albuquerque’s Westside, which would have three full districts, an increase of the current two districts and a part of another.
O’Malley introduced a competing map, which was tabled, which would have extended borders across the Rio Grande and kept all five current city councilors in their districts. Opponents of that map say they preferred that the Rio Grande be used, when possible, as a natural border for districts, something that O’Malley says is divisive for the city.
The City Council said that Benton would be allowed to continue serving until his term ends in 2013, but court action could force Benton from his seat. In that case, the mayor would be allowed to appoint a replacement, likely increasing the Republican advantage on the city council from its current 5-4 advantage to 6-3.
Odds and Ends
Countdown to adjournment at noon. Here’s the Roundhouse liveblog, courtesy on NMPolitics.net.
…the end of the legislative session, that is. (This is not the End Times liveblog.)
It’s live and it’s real. The gang at NMPolitics.net is going all in. Heath, Gwyneth and our very own Matt “Red Bull” Reichbach, along with the usual cast of journalistic characters, will be liveblogging the N.M. Legislative until the session adjourns tomorrow at noon.
You can follow the action here. Many thanks to Heath Haussamen and Gwyneth Doland for letting us join in.