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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bright Spot In NM Special Session: Jobs Bill Signed Into Law

Yesterday, Governor Susanna Martinez signed Senate Bill 1 into law, the In-State Preference bill sponsored by Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17) in the recent special legislative session.  SB-1 was a true bright spot in the recent special session, and is expected to create thousands of new jobs in New Mexico.

Senator Keller and co-sponsor Rep. Larry Larranaga (R-Bernalillo-27) worked with the business community, the Governor’s Office and the Senate Jobs Task Force convened by Majority Floor Leader Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-Valencia-29), to produce the legislation signed yesterday.

“The enactment of the In-State Preference bill is a shining example of how government should work for the mutual benefit of the people of New Mexico. SB-1 will now create over 3,000 jobs in our state and is the result of nearly two years of bi-partisan collaboration on the part of business stakeholders, the governors’ office and the legislature.”

“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. Larrañaga. “As a result, SB-1 enjoys widespread support from the legislature, governor and the entire business community,” he continued.

SB-1 corrects multiple loopholes that are in current law. The intent of the current law is 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,” said Senator Keller. The new law also extends the local preference beyond construction to all businesses that contract with the state like law, accounting, architecture, software/information technology and food producers.

Senator Keller stated he was appreciative that Governor Martinez included the bill on the agenda for the special session.  In the 2011 regular session, SB 19 -- legislation very similar to SB-1 -- successfully passed the legislature with 96 votes for and only 1 against. Ultimately, in the 2011 regular session, SB 19 was vetoed because of a “fatal” few words in the bill. After making the necessary revisions to the original bill, SB-1 was introduced in the 2011 special legislative session.

“Sometimes government can respond fast to public needs, for this measure we all put a crucial jobs policy over politics. The success of SB-1 shows us that we can work together, compromise, and create jobs,” said Senator Keller.

October 6, 2011 at 07:41 AM in Economy, Populism, Jobs, NM Legislature 2011, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011, Susana Martinez, Tim Keller | Permalink

Comments

Great news! Thanks to Tim for getting the ball rolling and for not allowing the Gov. to snatch it away altogether!

Glad to see that we could get bi-partisan support too! It makes so much sense.

Posted by: bg | Oct 6, 2011 8:01:53 AM

There were several bills that Tim sponsored that passed unanimously or nearly so, that the Governor vetoed. Apparently bi-partisan legislative support isn't one of her criteria. See them here: http://www.timkellerfornewmexico.com/inner.php?page_id=11&page_name=Legislation

Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Oct 7, 2011 9:36:55 PM