Member Updates

2014 Legislative Session

Member Update #1 – 1-22-2014

Member Update #2 – 1-24-2014

Member Update #3 – 1-27-2014

Member Update #4 – 1-29-2014

Member Update #5 – 1-31-2014

Member Update #6 – 2-3-2014

Member Update #7 – 2-5-2014

Member Update #8 – 2-7-2014

Member Update #9 – 2-10-2014

Member Update #10 – 2-12-2014

Member Update #11 – 2-14-2014

Member Update #12 – 2-17-2014

Member Update #13 – 2-19-2014

Member Update #14 – 2-20-2014

February 20, 2014

Adjournment

The New Mexico Legislature has “sine die” for the 2014 Legislative Session. Thank you for the emails and phone calls that we received from many of you during this session. Your input during these last 30 days proved invaluable and we cannot be as effective as we are without the participation from our membership. Here is a recap of some of the bills we updated you about these last 30 days.

 

Legislation

HB113: Workers’ Comp Payment for Intent or Drug Use sponsored by Rep. D. Roch proposes changes to the Worker´s Compensation Act which relate to injuries of a worker that are intentionally caused by the worker or are the result of intoxication from alcohol or drugs. The bill deprives the worker of “any and all” benefits if intoxication plays any part at all in the injury. The bill also defines the term “intoxication.” ACI has long supported this bill but unfortunately opposition from Labor Unions has kept the bill from passing out of the House Labor and Human Resources Committee. HB113 was tabled and died in House Labor and Human Resources Committee. ACI supported this bill.

 

HB115: Wage Fraud Investigations and Procedures sponsored by Rep. M. Garcia amends by protecting a worker’s right to wages earned and revises investigation procedures by requiring translation of certain documents and extends the period in which a business must keep records on an employ from one year to four years and also has a penalty of up to one year imprisonment in a county jail for a false wage claim. It includes the $100/day per employee fine that is already in statute. The bill also outlines the procedures that must be followed for class action lawsuits. The bill calls for a “wage theft” study to be conducted and establishes a Wage and Hour Enforcement Fund. HB115 provides penalties for violations and makes an appropriation. HB115 was never heard in Senate Judiciary Committee and died. ACI opposed this bill as a FOCUS priority.

 

HJR3: Land Grant Fund for Education Reforms, CA sponsored by Rep. J. Trujillo proposes an amendment to Article 12, Section 7 of the Constitution of New Mexico to extend indefinitely the additional annual distribution from the land grant permanent funds to implement reforms designed to increase educational performance as provided by law and to provide for automatic suspension of the additional distribution based on a minimum five-year average market value balance. ACI opposes any additional distribution from the NM Land Grant Permanent Fund as LGPF is NOT a “Rainy Day Fund” but rather a trust fund designated for current and future LGPF Specified Beneficiaries. It is important that the NM citizens understand the legality and purpose of the LGPF.

  • Per the 1910 “Enabling Act for New Mexico” there is no provision for distributions from the LGPF for faith based or private sector providers. Doing so would require an act of US Congress and Presidential Signature to make that provision a reality and, even if successful, would cause an unacceptable disparity in the provision of services to families and children.
  • Since Early Child Care and Education is not an “Entity” or “Specified Beneficiary” there is no provision within the “Enabling Act” for Early Childhood
  • Care and Education. An amendment would require an Act of the NM Legislature and Governor Signature to make that provision a reality.
  • There is no guarantee that additional distributions from the LGPF will result in increased funds for early childhood care and education programs. Historical appropriations have demonstrated that increases in LGPF distributions have resulted in a supplanting of general fund.
  • Any additional distributions from the LGPF should only be used for non­ recurring cost, expenses and distribution amounts are subject to change and often sunset.
  • The plan for the Early Childhood Care and Education system and supporting infrastructure is still in the development stage and there is much to be learned with regard to program and service gaps as well as community capacity.

HJR3 was tabled and died in House Labor and Human Resources Committee. ACI opposed this bill.

 

HB45 & SB184: US Dept. of Defense Energy Gross Receipts Tax sponsored by Rep. L. Larranaga & Sen. G. Munoz  provide for a deduction of gross receipts tax and property tax when directed to goods and services related to research and development services for directed energy and satellites when such services are sold to the US Department of Defense. New Mexico is one of the few states that puts a tax on services sold to the Federal Government because of our Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) structure. This exemption would only apply to new contracts. Passage of these bills will level the playing field for New Mexico with the rest of the country and ensure that work doesn’t leave the state to be done in a neighboring state that does not impose this tax. HB45 was tabled in House Appropriations and Finance Committee and died. SB184 was being debated on the House Floor right as time ran out so it died. ACI supported these bills.

 

HB51: Right to Farm Nuisance Changes sponsored by Rep. Y. Herrell & SB229: Right to Farm Nuisance Act Lawsuits sponsored by Sen. P. Griego propose that any agricultural operation or facility not deemed a nuisance at the time established, that has been in existence for more than one year, cannot be found to be a nuisance unless negligence in operations or illegal operations are established. This is a badly needed update to the Right to Farm Act. HB51 passed the House and Senate and now awaits the Governor’s Consideration. SB229 was never heard in Senate Judiciary Committee and died. ACI supported these bills as a FOCUS priority.

 

HB94 & SB114: Angel Investment Tax Credit Changes sponsored by Rep. J. Powdrell-Culbert & Sen. P. Griego amend provisions to the Angel Investment Tax Credit by clarifying the number of investments that may qualify for the credit from 2 to 5; eliminate the sunset date, increase the total amount of annual credits that may be issued to $2,000,000 and increase the carry forward to five years. SB114 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died.  HB94 passed the House and Senate and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported these bills.

 

“Exclude NOL Carryover For Up To 20 Years”

HB234 sponsored by Rep. G. Dodge, SB106 sponsored by Sen. C. Leavell and SB156 sponsored by Sen. C. Sanchez each titled “Exclude NOL Carryover For Up To 20 Years.” SB106 and SB156 were combined into one committee substitute bill in Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. The two bills allow for the exclusion of net operating loss (NOL) carryover from net income in the Corporate Income and Franchise Tax Act for up to twenty years. Current law only allows for five years of carryover. Changing to a 20-year carryover period would make New Mexico consistent with the federal period. Currently, New Mexico is only one of four states with a 5-year period. A longer period benefits start-ups and companies expanding lines of businesses.  These two bills both fall in line with ACI’s overall policy goal of making tax less burdensome for businesses. HB234 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died. SB106 passed the Senate and House and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported these bills.

 

SB283 & HB296: Economic Development Utility Rate sponsored by Sen. S. Ingle & Rep. M. Maestas will be heard by the New Mexico State Senate this week on the Senate Floor. SB283 is a powerful tool to help improve the lives of New Mexicans, by attracting high paying jobs to New Mexico.  The Legislation provides incentive electric rates for manufacturing and technology companies with high-wage jobs to relocate or locate in New Mexico and has already passed the House by a super majority (HB 296).These bills will allow New Mexico to become more competitive with 30 other states.   For less than 3 cents a month, a facility could operate in New Mexico providing New Mexicans with community investment of at least $13 million over ten years. This legislation is an investment in our future. New jobs and businesses will lead to a stronger tax base which will ensure services for our seniors and a good education for our children. SB283 & HB296 were never heard on the Senate Floor and died. ACI supported both these bills as top priorities.

HJM11 & SJM17: Bid & RFP Training For State Contracts sponsored by Rep. S. Garcia-Richard & Sen. S. Neville request that the Secretary of General Services provide qualified training to all staff involved in the procurement process. The Memorials also request that when all things are equal, agencies use in-state companies and that these companies be noted on the Master Price Agreement. SJM17 has been scheduled to be heard in Senate Rules Committee for over a week now. The committee has heard presentations about the Albuquerque Downs deal, they debated the legalization of marijuana and some other big topics that have kept them from getting through their agenda. SJM17 was never heard on the Senate Floor and died. HJM11passed the House and Senate and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported these Memorials as top priorities.

 

SB8: Resident Tuition For Some Undergrad Students sponsored by Sen. M.K. Papen & Rep. D. Roch allows for international students enrolled in an eligible Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program and seeking a bachelor’s degree at a participating university to receive instate resident tuition and fee rates. ACI supports attracting entrepreneurial students to New Mexico’s public universities by allowing institutions to offer in-state tuition to international undergraduate students who are seeking bachelor’s degrees in STEM or business fields and who are interested in starting businesses in New Mexico. SB8 was never heard on the Senate Floor and died. ACI supported this bill.

 

SB9: One Stop Business Portal Act sponsored by Sen. M.K. Papen & Rep. L. Varela proposes by January 1, 2017 the Department of Information Technology shall create a “one-stop” business portal that is user-friendly, searchable and accessible to the public that will provide businesses with the ability to electronically conduct certain business transactions with various state agencies. SB9 passed the Senate and House and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported this bill.

 

SB10: New Revenue Income Tax Credit sponsored by Sen. M.K. Papen & Rep. N. Gentry allows for a taxpayer who makes capital investments in the state to apply for a thirty percent credit of new revenue against tax liability – referred to as “new revenue income tax credit.” The credit may be claimed for up to 20 consecutive qualifying periods, beginning in the taxable year in which a taxpayer first claims a new revenue tax credit.  To be eligible a taxpayer must have created a minimum number of new jobs in qualifying period in which a new revenue income tax credit is claimed (five jobs in municipalities of less than 60k population, ten jobs in municipalities that are larger than 60k people). The taxpayer must have also made a minimum capital investment as well (amount of investment is dependent upon size of municipality). ACI had some issues with language in the bill which included a reduction in TIDD’s and a provision that would have only allowed employers to let an employee go for “good cause” if they received the tax credit. We were able to sit down with Think New Mexico and get them to remove this language from the bill. SB10 was never heard on the Senate Floor and died. ACI supported this bill.

 

SB17: Unitary Corporate Combined Tax Reporting sponsored by Sen. P. Wirth amends Section 7-2A-8.3 NMSA 1978 to require a bank that is a unitary corporation to file a combined return with other unitary corporations as though the entire combined net income were that of one corporation for taxable years beginning and after January 1, 2015. The term “unitary corporations” refers to two or more integrated corporations, other than any foreign corporation incorporated in a foreign country and not engaged in trade or business in the United States during the taxable year, that are owned in the amount of more than fifty percent and controlled by the same person and for which at least one of the following conditions exists:

  • There is a unity of operations evidenced by central purchasing, advertising, accounting or other centralized services;
  • There is a centralized management or executive force and centralized system of operation; or
  • The operations of the corporations are dependent upon or contribute property or services to one another individually or as a group.

ACI opposes eliminating alternative corporate income tax filing methods for corporate groups and requiring them to use the unitary combined method which would:

  • Not raise substantial additional tax revenue.
  • Eliminate an important economic development incentive, reducing New Mexico’s competitiveness with other states.
  • Disrupt economic expectations of companies that invested in New Mexico anticipating use of alternative filing methods.
  • Be difficult to comply with and administer and target multi-state businesses.

SB17 was tabled and died in Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. ACI opposed this bill.

 

SB21: Theft of Utility and Railroad Hardware Penalty sponsored by Sen. S. Neville enacts a new section of the criminal code to make it a crime to disrupt communications and utilities services by theft or intentional damage or to create a safety hazard through theft or intentional damage to customer or utility owned equipment. SB21 passed the Senate and House and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported this bill.

 

SB43: Update State & Regional Water Plans sponsored by Sen. P. Campos proposes that $700,000 from the General Fund is to be appropriated to the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) for use in Fiscal Year 2015 to update state and regional water plans.  Any balance at the end of the fiscal year will revert to the General Fund. ACI supports the ISC and OSE in their efforts to effectively manage New Mexico’s water resources and it recognizes that funding is required to accomplish this at a satisfactory level.  It is imperative that the offices have sufficient resources to defend and protect our water in litigation and compact related matters.  ACI recognizes the critical need for accurate reporting on the quantity and quality of our water resources, and supports efforts to bring current the NM Environment Department’s databases relating to water, the completion of the OSE’s “WATERS” database, hydrographic surveys, information management systems, and metering of domestic wells and irrigation districts. SB43 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died. ACI supported this bill.

 

SB77: Inter-Basin Water Rights Transfers sponsored by Sen. T. Keller & Rep. B. Egolf requires additional procedures in the application process (at the applicants expense) for the diversion and use of water from the basin of origin for use outside the basin of origin. ACI supports the transfer of water across major basin boundaries, provided that there are no impairments to senior water rights and compact delivery requirements.  ACI supports maximizing the efficiency of water conveyance systems to achieve the beneficial use of water resources as defined by a statewide water plan, in accordance with required notice provisions under water rights proceedings. We do not feel more stringent regulations at this time, especially when they raise the cost of doing business in the state. SB77 was never heard in the Senate Committees’ Committee. ACI opposed this bill.

 

SB80: Exempt Humate Mines From The Mining Act sponsored by Sen. G. Munoz amends a section of The New Mexico Mining Act to exempt certain Humate Mines from permitting requirements of that act. While Humate is mined like other minerals, it is not a mineral. Humate is compressed, natural organic humus, containing most of the known trace elements necessary for development of plant life. ACI believes exempting Humate form the mining act will help grow the industry and create more jobs here in the state. New Mexico is thought to have the best Humate reserves in the world. SB80 passed the Senate and House and now awaits the Governor’s consideration. ACI supported this bill.

 

SJR12: Land Grant Fund Balance and Education, CA sponsored by Sen. M. Sanchez proposes an amendment to Article 12, Section 7 of the Constitution of New Mexico to extend indefinitely the additional annual distribution from the land grant permanent funds to implement reforms designed to increase educational performance as provided by law and to provide for automatic suspension of the additional distribution based on a minimum five-year average market value balance. ACI opposes any additional distribution from the NM Land Grant Permanent Fund as LGPF is NOT a “Rainy Day Fund” but rather a trust fund designated for current and future LGPF Specified Beneficiaries. It is important that the NM citizens understand the legality and purpose of the LGPF.

  • Per the 1910 “Enabling Act for New Mexico” there is no provision for distributions from the LGPF for faith based or private sector providers. Doing so would require an act of US Congress and Presidential Signature to make that provision a reality and, even if successful, would cause an unacceptable disparity in the provision of services to families and children.
  • Since Early Child Care and Education is not an “Entity” or “Specified Beneficiary” there is no provision within the “Enabling Act” for Early Childhood
  • Care and Education. An amendment would require an Act of the NM Legislature and Governor Signature to make that provision a reality.
  • There is no guarantee that additional distributions from the LGPF will result in increased funds for early childhood care and education programs. Historical appropriations have demonstrated that increases in LGPF distributions have resulted in a supplanting of general fund.
  • Any additional distributions from the LGPF should only be used for non­ recurring cost, expenses and distribution amounts are subject to change and often sunset.
  • The plan for the Early Childhood Care and Education system and supporting infrastructure is still in the development stage and there is much to be learned with regard to program and service gaps as well as community capacity.

SJR12 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died. ACI opposed this bill as a FOCUS priority.

 

SJR13 & HJR9: Annually Increasing Minimum Wage sponsored by Sen. R. Martinez & Rep. M.P. Garcia proposes to amend Article 20 of the Constitution of New Mexico to require that the state minimum wage be increased annually at the rate of inflation. If passed, the Joint Resolution would not require the Governor’s signature, but instead, would go to the voters of New Mexico. As was seen in the minimum wage initiative that took place in Albuquerque; many people believed that an increase in minimum wage meant an increase for all employees at all businesses. That was not the case. Many businesses in Albuquerque had to either move some employees from full time to part time, and in other instances, some employers had to lay employees off. An automatic increase in wages does not ensure an automatic rise in sales to offset the costs of the annual mandatory pay raises. ACI believes a uniform, national, minimum wage reduces the administrative burden on employers in New Mexico and also makes New Mexico an attractive state for creating jobs. ACI also believes that addressing minimum wage in the form constitutional amendment is just bad policy. If the legislature needed to adjust or make any changes to minimum wage in the future, they would again have to send it to the voters in order to make any changes. SJR13 failed to pass the House Floor and died. HJR9 was never heard in House Voters and Elections and died. ACI opposed this bill as FOCUS priority.

Other “Minimum Wage” Bills

HB213 & SB319 sponsored by Rep. L. Varela & Sen. P. Campos will raise minimum wage in the state and it will rise each year on Jan. 1 with the rate of inflation, HB275 & SB322 sponsored by Rep. C. Trujillo & Sen. P. Campos will raise minimum wage (for state employees only) in the state and it will rise each year on Jan. 1 with the rate of inflation.  HB213 was never heard in House Rules Committee and died. SB319 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died. HB275 was never heard in House Rules Committee and died. SB322 was never heard in Senate Finance Committee and died. ACI opposed each of these bills as FOCUS priorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past Legislative Session Member Updates

Member Updates from the 2013 Legislative Session