Gov.’s budget proposal: fix economy by giving teachers, state employees $700-$2100 pay cut

Gov. Susana rolled out her FY18 proposed state budget this week. In a state with the nation’s largest income inequality gap and slowest economies, Martinez’s proposes to cut wages to state employees and teachers by 3.5% – that’s $700 – $2100 per worker – while protecting handouts to some of New Mexico’s most profitable companies, says two of the state’s largest worker unions. 

AFT-NM, representing teachers (a significant portion of local teacher salaries come from state funding, ,waning the governor’s pay cut proposal would be imposed on teachers at the local level):

“Governor Martinez’s proposals will take money out of the pockets of our working families through retirement deductions and jeopardize our schools’ ability to provide safe, quality instruction for our students by ‘sweeping’ hard-saved cash reserves from their budgets. “The bottom line is this: Governor Martinez is telling working New Mexicans to ‘tighten their belts’ while hoping we don’t notice she’s placed it around our necks.”

Here’s the analysis from AFSCME, the union represnting state blue-collar and white-collar workers:

After creating a $300 million deficit at a time when other states are running surpluses, Gov. Martinez announced yesterday that she plans to make up the deficit by taking anywhere from $700 to $2,000 from each and every state and university employee in New Mexico. Call Gov. Martinez’ office [505-476-2200] and tell her that public employees should not pay for her deficit. “Please don’t balance the budget by using pay cuts of any kind–including pension pay swaps–on public employees”

Show respect to the person answering the phones!

A Recap – Progressive Action Summit 2017

Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:

22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.

Will 2017 be the year marijuana is legalized in New Mexico?

Rep. Bill McCamley of Las Cruces is hoping that the fourth time is the charm when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in New Mexico. “On the house side, Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for the last two years and they’ve killed this. I mean, they’ve not let this out for discussion. I’ve introduced this three separate times.” McCamley said today in a press conference in Las Cruces.

The minimum wage will go up in 23 states on Jan 1. Here’s why New Mexico isn’t among them.

 

Twenty two states and the District of Columbia are set to raise their minimum wage in 2017 (see below for the full list). As a state that leads the country in income inequality between rich and poor, has one of the country’s lowest child welfare rankings and more than 90,000 children who depend on a minimum wage worker, you’d think New Mexico should be on the list of increasing wage states.  But it isn’t for an incredibly frustrating reason. Even though more than 2/3 of New Mexicans support raising the state’s minimum wage of just $7.50 an hour, Republican leaders in the State House have consistently organized efforts kill those proposals. On the one occasion when a simple $1 increase passed the legislature in 2013, Governor Martinez vetoed it.