The Ritz Herald
Rep. Daymon Ely (D) during the annual legislative session on Jan. 25, 2021, in Santa Fe, N.M. © Cedar Attanasio / AP Photo

New Mexico Business Groups Call on State Legislature to Refocus on Economic Recovery Now

Coalition identifies approximately 20 bills that will hinder economic recovery

Published on February 18, 2021

The New Mexico Chamber of Commerce and 21 business groups launched a new campaign to urge the New Mexico state legislature to refocus its efforts on economic recovery and expanding opportunities for workers and businesses. The campaign kicked off with a full-page ad running today in nine of the state’s largest newspapers.

The New Mexico legislature is currently working to fast-track more than 20 bills that will make economic recovery more difficult. A partial list of the harmful legislation shows everything from bills that would potentially close our rural hospitals to eliminating billions of dollars in revenue for New Mexico schools. These bills would not only create regulatory uncertainty but stymie efforts to safely reopen the state’s economy, working against the best interests of more than two million New Mexicans who call the state home. As the ad points out, neighboring states of Arizona, Colorado, and Texas rank among the top 20 states for business; New Mexico ranks 48th.

“New Mexico is at a crossroads, and we need to decide what kind of opportunities we want our children and future generations to have,” said Rob Black, President and CEO of the New Mexico of Commerce. “Unfortunately, so many of the bills being fast-tracked through state legislative committees will put our shared vision for the future at risk. We must work together to ensure an equitable and prosperous future for all, and the time for that is now.”

“Santa Fe is the tourism hub for New Mexico and the industry is essential for both our local and state economy. We need the legislature to focus on re-starting and supporting this crucial sector of the economy. We are at a turning point where we can salvage and then recover beyond the losses, we have experienced in the tourism industry.” said Bridget Dixson, President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.

“As our state struggles to overcome a tumultuous and economically devastating year, we look to our state elected officials to provide a legislative environment that creates new opportunities for our children and attracts new investments, revenue streams, and jobs for New Mexico – now and for the future,” said Hayley Klein, Executive Director of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. “We are particularly concerned at how some of these bills will impact the backbone of our local economy here in southeast New Mexico, namely the energy sector. If these high-paying jobs disappear, there are few if any other opportunities for our workers.”

“We work hard to advance the civic and business interests of not only Farmington but the entire Four Corners region,” said Jamie Church, President and CEO of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce. “Unfortunately, several proposed bills in the state legislature would kneecap these efforts and make an already bleak economic outlook worse. We have suffered considerably in recent years as state and federal efforts targeted energy producers in our region, and these bills aren’t providing any relief; they’re piling on. We all deserve better. Our lawmakers must collaborate with us to ensure we do not continue to lose out on valuable investments and opportunities to neighboring states.”

“New Mexicans are already struggling to provide for their families and make ends meet amid the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bill Lee, CEO of the Gallup McKinley-County Chamber of Commerce, said. “Now, proposed bills circulating through our state legislation stand to cost New Mexicans billions of dollars in revenue in the near term – creating an insolvable business climate and jeopardizing the quality of life for our friends, families and neighbors. We need the help of our state legislators to provide economic relief to our state.”

The full coalition includes: Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce, Artesia Chamber of Commerce, Carlsbad Mainstreet, Clovis Industrial Development Corporation, Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, Economic Forum of Albuquerque, Farmington Chamber, Gallup-McKinley County Chamber of Commerce, Greater East Mountain Chamber of Commerce, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce, New Mexico Chile Association, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Portales Roosevelt County Chamber, Rio Rancho Regional Chamber, Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.

Finance Reporter