County Council Passes State Legislative Agenda

Council Vice Chair and Dist. 43 Rep.-Elect Christine Chandler
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
kirsten@ladailypost.com
 
Los Alamos County’s 2019 state legislative agenda was approved during the Dec. 18 regular meeting.
 
Council passed the agenda 5-0, Council Vice Chair Christine Chandler abstained.
 
County Manager Harry Burgess highlighted some of the items on the state legislative agenda:
  • Efforts towards maintaining the tax revenues from the managing entities that operate the national laboratories in New Mexico so that state and regional revenues are not negatively impacted by lab contract turnover.
  • Legislation supporting Los Alamos County’s application for capital outlay funding to develop affordable/workforce housing infrastructure.
  • Restoration of full-service Public Health Offices throughout the state, including in Los Alamos.
  • According to the meeting documents, the agenda also touches on legislation that provides sufficient funding for New Mexico public schools and legislative priorities of New Mexico Administrative Code and New Mexico Municipal League.
According to Council agenda documents, each year, Council adopts a state legislative agenda. This document is used as a guide for the County’s intergovernmental efforts and it provides direction for County staff and the County legislative support contractor when working with the state.
 
Burgess said the agenda was brought to Council during the Dec. 18 meeting in order to have it in place prior to the County’s pre-legislature meeting with various state representative Jan. 11.
 
“It does to help direct those conservations during the session,” he said.
 
Chandler, who served as the chair of the legislative agenda, noted that Sen. Carlos Cisneros has pre-filed a tax bill that is essentially the same bill as last year’s SB-17. Cisneros, along with Sen. Richard Martinez and Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, introduced SB-17. Its purpose was to stabilize gross receipts tax revenues received from prime contractors at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.
 
“I think there is a hope and desire to get it in to some of that package of bills that is being discussed that would be fast track in some way; I don’t know if that is a certainly. But I think there is an interest in doing that … (SB-17) had strong support from both parties last year … I hope it will be included in an array of things that will go to our new governor promptly. I hope and expect she’ll sign it,” Chandler said.
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