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 in the future.
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 would have 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. We plan to bring them back for reconsideration in the future.
Issue Summary: Addressing the Jobs Crisis
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 that 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 identified seven special interest tax loopholes that should be closed, including ending tax breaks for cigarette distributors, sellers of ATVs and RVs, and martial arts competitions, among others.
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
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)
Read New Mexico Watchdog blog post on the passage of Think New Mexico’s One-Stop Business Portal Bill • January 30, 2014
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)
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
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)
Read an Albuquerque Journal article about Think New Mexico’s job creation policy proposals • September 30, 2013