Officials Reach Special Legislative Session Agreement
SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez and leaders of the New Mexico Senate and New Mexico House of Representatives reached agreement Wednesday evening on three pieces of legislation to be passed in a special legislative session. Unconfirmed sources in the Governor’s office are indicating a Special Session will be called at noon on Monday, June 8.
The agreement includes a $295 million capital outlay package that will, among other things, increase funding for senior centers and higher education institutions statewide, fully fund the State’s economic development closing fund, split the funding of major statewide highway projects ($45 million) and highway infrastructure development near Santa Teresa ($8 million) in half between general funds and severance tax bonds.
Also funded will be $84 million in local infrastructure projects supported by local government officials around the state, and critical capital outlay projects for state agencies including hospitals, correctional facilities and forest/watershed/river restoration. The bill also also provide critical matching funds for tribal water settlement projects.
Additionally, a package of tax incentives has been agreed to by all parties. The package is designed to help create jobs in New Mexico and would make several changes, including:
- Expanding the Angel Investment Credit;
- Restoring the Unreimbursed Medical Expense Tax Deduction claimed by roughly 300,000 New Mexicans each year;
- Allocating $300,000 in supplemental general funds to the Administrative Office of the Courts;
- Allocating $4 million in general supplemental funds to the Department of Health;
- Allowing companies that house their headquarters in New Mexico to elect single sales factor apportionment;
- Re-enacting the Border Zone Trade-Support Gross Receipts Tax Deduction;
- Establishing the U.S. Department of Defense Energy Gross Receipts Tax Deduction;
- Expanding the Technology Jobs Tax Credit and combining it with the Small Business Research and Development Tax Credit; and
- Clarifying/fixing two provisions relating to the double taxation and loading fees on gasoline or special fuels.
Sunset dates would be added to two of the tax provisions, and a tax incentive relating to the establishment of trusts was removed from the version that passed the House of Representatives during the regular session.
The Governor will issue a call for the special session in the coming days that identifies the precise date and time the session will be held. The expected date of the session is Monday, June 8.
The following are comments from Gov. Martinez and the chief negotiators of the House and Senate majorities, as well as the leaders of the minority parties in each chamber:
Governor Susana Martinez: “This bipartisan agreement will help create jobs in New Mexico. We are prioritizing highway construction and other major infrastructure, which puts people to work immediately and lays a strong foundation for long-term economic growth. And it is absolutely critical that we make New Mexico more competitive for job creation by offering targeted incentives for businesses choosing to locate or expand in our state, and by focusing on the creation of new jobs and investment along our border and in the technology sector, while making it easier to start a small business and succeed.”
Sen. John Arthur Smith: “We’ve worked hard together to do what’s necessary to reach this bipartisan agreement. This is a compromise. We’ve met in the middle, and this agreement addresses important needs throughout the state and will be good for the people of New Mexico.”
Speaker Don Tripp: “I’m pleased with today’s agreement because it will create more jobs for our families, and that is a top priority for our caucus. We all know that our roads and highways are a critical part of our economy. When they are in good shape, it’s a direct reflection of our economy. This agreement will ensure that we fix our aging roads and, at the same time, it includes the jobs package, which will encourage companies to set up shop in New Mexico and create high-tech jobs that our state needs.”
Sen. Stuart Ingle: “I’m glad that we were able to put politics aside and work together to find an agreement that will best address the needs of our families. For the last few months, we have worked with the governor and leaders in both chambers to find middle ground, and that has resulted in a bipartisan agreement that not only creates jobs, but also addresses critical infrastructure needs. This is an agreement that every New Mexican can get behind.”
Rep. Brian Egolf: “I am very pleased, as are all House Democrats, that negotiations have been fruitful and have resulted in a capital outlay bill on which we can agree. When Representatives, Senators and the Governor work with a common purpose, the people of New Mexico win. Now, with politics aside, we can begin to build New Mexico, make our families more secure, and help put people back to work throughout the state.”