N.M. LEGISLATIVE News:
SANTA FE–Members of the House and Senate made a significant down payment on a plan to create 160,000 jobs in New Mexico over the next 10 years. The House passed a budget, which includes more than $23 million in appropriations for economic development and work training programs that will bolster the state’s job numbers.
Most of the appropriations were based on the job creation blueprint developed in the interim by the Legislative Jobs Council, chaired by Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia and Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Doña Ana. The bulk of the job creation appropriation goes to the Economic Development Dept. (EDD) and the Tourism Department.
“With this appropriation, New Mexico is making a bold statement that we are open for business,” Martinez said. “The Legislative Jobs Council has worked diligently in a bipartisan manner to draw up a job creation blueprint. It is a monumental task and there is a long way to go, but this is a start. The appropriations in this budget will allow us to move the needle and begin to put New Mexicans to work.”
The breakdown of appropriations for economic development includes:
- $10 million for the LEDA “closing fund” for the recruitment of business to New Mexico (*JC)
- $1.5 million of recurring appropriations for training through the Job Training Incentive Program *(JC)
- $930,000 of recurring appropriations for business recruitment and marketing (*JC)
- $150,000 of recurring appropriations for vocational certification/testing (*JC)
- $130,000 of recurring appropriations to support business incubators (*JC)
- $100,000 for technology research collaborative
- $7.6 million of recurring appropriations for statewide tourism advertising (*JC)
- $1.3 million of recurring appropriations for local tourism cooperative advertising grants
- $460,000 general fund appropriation to support Spaceport America
- $500,000 for the MainStreet program, including funding for frontier communities
- $186,000 to support the state’s military installations and jobs (28 percent increase from FY14)
- $340,000 for apprenticeship programs
(*Jobs Council recommendation)
The Jobs Council estimates that New Mexico needs to create 16,000 jobs a year for the next 10 years to return to economic health (pre-recession levels 2007).
The appropriations for job creation were included in Senate Bill 313 CS which was just passed in the House. There will be another $5 million dollars for economic development initiatives appropriated through the issuance of Severance Tax Bonds, Martinez said.