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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crucial In-State Preference Jobs Bill Gaining Broad Support in Special Session

Senator Keller, Rep. Larranaga

Take Action: Please contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to support Senate Bill 1, In-State Preference.

Senate Bill 1, In-State Preference, deals directly with the economy and job creation; and is working its way through New Mexico's special legislative session, according to a statement released by NM Senate Dems. Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17), Representative Larry Larranaga (R-Bernalillo-27), the Governor’s office and Senate Democrats are working legislation known as the “In-State Preference Bill” during the current 2011 special legislative pursuant to item #3 in the Governor’s proclamation. 

“Better leveraging of our in-state requirements could mean the addition of more than 3,000 jobs annually for New Mexicans; unfortunately many of these jobs are currently going to out-of-state businesses,” said Sen. Keller. 

“This bill will strengthen the New Mexico economy by creating a win-win situation for economic development and the private sector in our state,” said Rep. Larry Larrañaga. “As a result, SB 1 enjoys widespread support from the legislature, governor and the entire business community,” he continued.

The In-State Preference Bill corrects multiple loopholes that are currently on the books. In theory, current law is supposed to allow an advantage to in-state companies when competing for government contracts so that state tax dollars stay in New Mexico. However, in practice, out-of-state companies have been able to abuse the system by creating shell companies that pretend to be local businesses in order to win state contracts. 

"The past year's employment numbers indicate our construction industry in New Mexico is having a tougher time than anywhere in the nation. Our top priority remains putting our construction companies and families back to work. We appreciate our elected leaders making this their top priority, too," said Vicki Mora, CEO of the Associated General Contractors - New Mexico Building Branch.

“I think businesses in New Mexico are very uncomfortable seeing over half a billion dollars worth of projects go out of state,” said Don Power, Jaynes Corp. Chairman and CEO. 

Earlier this year during the 2011 regular session, Senator Keller and Rep. Larrañaga co-sponsored Senate Bill 19, the In-State Procurement Advantage (or in-state preference) bill which passed the Senate 35-1, passed the House of Representatives 58-0, but was not signed. The Governor’s message stated that SB19 contained a few words that inadvertently could subject some businesses to the state’s procurement code. 

As a result, Senator Keller and Rep. Larranaga worked with the business community, the Senate Democrats Majority Leader’s Jobs Task Force, and the Governor’s office in the interim to revise the language in question in SB 19 and produce SB 1 for the special session.

“We need to do everything in our power to get New Mexicans back to work, now; and the In-State Preference Bill does just that,” said Senator Keller.

Take Action: Please contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to support Senate Bill 1, In-State Preference.

September 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM in Jobs, NM Legislature 2011, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011, Tim Keller | Permalink