Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Sen. Keller's Job Creation Bill Goes to House Floor for Final Vote
A Senate bill to stimulate New Mexico business and pump thousands of jobs into the state is nearing the floor of the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 19 (SB 19), sponsored by Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17), tightens qualifications and levels the playing field for businesses who want to take part in the In-State Business Procurement Advantage.
“Better leveraging our in-state requirements could mean the addition of more than 3,000 jobs for resident workers with New Mexico-owned companies, which might have otherwise gone to out-of-state businesses,” Sen. Keller said.
The existing system is meant to give local companies an edge by granting them a five percent preference in pursuing state contracts. Sen. Keller said the system has been abused by out-of-state companies that only meet New Mexico tax residency requirements on a short-term basis before bidding on state contracts. SB 19 dramatically tightens requirements to make sure tax dollars go to New Mexicans.
Supporters of SB 19 believe the tighter residency requirements, additional oversight and increased enforcement will force out-of-state bidders to be more cautious about in-state requirements. Sen. Keller met with industry leaders from construction, contracting, real estate development, labor and professional services and with the agricultural community to create a broad consensus in drafting this legislation.
“New Mexico will be able to enforce a much-needed preference for our local business owners while encouraging entrepreneurship from farm work to professional services to construction management,” Sen. Keller said.
Senator Keller’s SB 19 passed out of the Senate on a 35 to 1 vote before heading to the New Mexico House. It received a unanimous “Do Pass” recommendation from both the House Business and Industry Committee (HBIC) and Judiciary Committee (HJC). The bill now goes to the House Floor for a final vote.