Job Creation Initiative
New! 2015 Legislative Update
During the 2015 legislative session, Representatives Nora Espinoza (R-Roswell) and Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) introduced House Bill 481 to implement Think New Mexico's proposal of allowing the state's universities to charge in-state tuition to international and out-of-state STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students. These students would help fill empty seats in higher level STEM classes and increase New Mexico's pool of potential entrepreneurs.
The bill passed two House and two Senate committees unanimously, and the House on a vote of 61-4, but unfortunately ran out of time awaiting a vote of the full Senate in the final hours of the session. We plan to bring the bill back for reconsideration back next year.
2014 Legislative Update:
On March 6, 2014, Governor Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 9 into law. Senate Bill 9 implements Think New Mexico's proposal to create a one-stop online portal for business fees and filings. During the 2014 session, passed the Senate 41-0 and the House 61-0, as well as passing all of its committee assignments on unanimous votes.
Senate Bill 9 was sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces), along with two other bills to implement Think New Mexico's jobs proposals: Senate Bill 8, which focused on attracting entrepreneurial international students to New Mexico's public universities, and Senate Bill 10, which established a post-performance tax incentive for businesses that create high-paying jobs for New Mexicans. Senate Bills 8 and 10 passed all of their Senate committee assignments unanimously but were never brought up for a vote of the full Senate.
Between 2007-2011, over 3,000 businesses and 43,000 jobs vanished from New Mexico. In 2012, the state’s economy grew by only 0.2%, the 47th slowest rate in the nation, while the economies of all of our neighboring states grew at least 10 times as fast. As a result, over 137,000 New Mexicans (14.7% of the workforce) were unemployed or underemployed in 2012, and an increasing number were leaving the state to seek work elsewhere.
In response to this crisis, Think New Mexico launched an initiative in 2013 focused on improving the climate for job creation in New Mexico. We published a report recommending that the legislature and governor enact three specific reforms.
First, attract more entrepreneurs to New Mexico by creating a scholarship that allows international STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and Business students to pay in-state tuition at New Mexico’s public universities. Research has shown that international students improve the language skills, cross-cultural fluency, and quantitative performance of local students, and they are statistically more likely to start the new businesses that will employ their classmates. Yet only 2.2% of the undergraduate students at New Mexico’s research universities are currently international, in part because our out-of-state tuition is relatively expensive compared with public universities in other states.
Second, reduce administrative burdens on businesses by creating a one-stop business portal for all fees and filings, similar to those in 18 other states. (This proposal builds on our successful initiative to consolidate the PRC’s corporate reporting division with the Business Services unit at the Secretary of State’s Office, a reform that reduced the number of state agencies most businesses must regularly interact with from four to three.)
Third, establish a post-performance incentive that offers businesses a rebate of up to 30% of the new tax revenue they produce when they relocate to or expand operations in New Mexico—but only after new jobs and new state revenues have been created.
Finally, to pay for these reforms, Think New Mexico has identified seven special interest tax loopholes that we recommend closing, including ending tax breaks for cigarette distributors, sellers of ATVs and RVs, and martial arts competitions, among others.
Think New Mexico's legislative successes are due in large part to the grassroots advocacy of our supporters. During the 2010 legislative session, Think New Mexico supporters sent over 15,000 messages to their legislators and the governor urging them not to reimpose a regressive food tax, and as a result, the governor line-item vetoed it and kept food tax-free for New Mexico families. If you would like to assist Think New Mexico in our efforts to address the jobs crisis, please call or write your state legislators and urge them to support legislation creating a post-performance incentive and allowing state universities to offer in-state tuition to international STEM students. Ask your legislators to support these reforms.
Vocal public support of policy reforms—like the ones we have proposed to address the jobs crisis—plays an essential role in making them a reality. Legislators are attentive and responsive to letters to the editors from their constituents. We encourage you to express your support for this initiative through the media, as well as directly to your representatives. The Media section of Think New Mexico's Action Center provides the names and contact information for your local media, including newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, and you can compose and send any of them an email or letter right from the page.
Resources & Media
Read Think New Mexico's policy report on addressing New Mexico's jobs crisis
Coalition in Support of the One-Stop Business Portal
Coalition in Support of the Entrepreneurial International Students Act
Coalition in Support of Post-Performance Incentives
Read what New Mexicans are saying about Think New Mexico's jobs proposals
Newspaper Articles & Editorials
Read Think New Mexico's opinion editoral about our legislative package to address the jobs crisis, which has been published in the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First, the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the Edgewood Independent, the Gallup Independent, the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Las Vegas Daily Optic, the Los Alamos Monitor, New Mexico Watchdog, the Rio Grande Sun, the Roswell Daily Record, and the Santa Fe New Mexican. April-May 2014
Read an editorial by the Santa Fe New Mexican calling for the passage of Think New Mexico's 2014 jobs bills February 19, 2014
Read New Mexico Watchdog blog post on the passage of Think New Mexico's One-Stop Business Portal Bill January 30, 2014
Read Albuquerque Business First article on the introduction of Think New Mexico's bipartisan jobs package December 17, 2013
Read Santa Fe New Mexican article on the introduction of Think New Mexico's bipartisan jobs package December 17, 2013
Read syndicated columnist Sherry Robinson's article on Think New Mexico's jobs proposal October 29, 2013
Read an Albuquerque Journal editorial about Think New Mexico's job creation policy proposals October 7, 2013
Read an Albuquerque Journal article about Think New Mexico's job creation policy proposals September 30, 2013
Radio and Television
Watch KNME "In Focus" interview with Fred Nathan about Senate Bills 8, 9, and 10 February 14, 2014 (7:59)
Listen to KANW 89.1 Albuquerque radio interview with Mark Bentley on Think New Mexico's 2014 legislative package to address the jobs crisis February 12, 2014 (mp3, 6:22)
Watch a KRQE News 13 story about Senate Bill 10, Think New Mexico's legislation to establish a post-performance incentive for businesses that create high-paying jobs for New Mexicans February 11, 2014 (1:52)
Listen to KVSF Santa Fe radio interview on Think New Mexico's 2014 legislative package to address the jobs crisis January 16, 2014 (mp3, 19:34)
Watch KRQE News 13 story on Think New Mexico's efforts to close the tobacco distributor tax loophole as part of our job creation tax incentive reform package December 17, 2013 (3:18)
Watch a KOB4 News story on Think New Mexico's job creation legislative package December 17, 2013 (2:03)
Listen to a KRWG Las Cruces interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's jobs initiative October 7, 2013 (16:05)
Listen to a KSFR Santa Fe interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's jobs initiative October 1, 2013 (mp3, 5:50)