As more and more stories come out about how New Mexico’s conservative “small-government” government officials are overseeing an economy where businesses are closing, unemployment is the nation’s highest, poverty is rising, and child well-being indicators are in the dirt, it’s important to know who is pushing back and standing up for New Mexico’s working families.
“UTC Aerospace to close in ABQ; 150 to lose jobs” [Read]
“Major call center in Rio Rancho to close, costing 400 jobs” [Read]
“Caterpillar to close Santa Fe plant, lay off 50 workers by year’s end” [Read]
“New Mexico had highest Nov. unemployment rate in the nation” [Read]
“NM 49th in child well-being again: What will it take to make change?” [Read]
The differences between conservative and progressive priorities have been starkly contrasted over the past few days.
Last weekend every House Republican voted against freezing the 2013 corporate income tax cuts that are phasing in year-to-year and costing state coffers millions in potential dollars — dollars we desperately need to fund Medicaid, public schools, public safety, and infrastructure.
Tuesday night House Republicans voted for a bill (HB 200) to slash wages 30% for construction workers.
But while Republicans are laser-focused on cutting wages, giving more tax breaks to corporations, and trying to pass failed crime bills that won’t reduce crime, Democrats are taking a different approach.
At a press conference earlier this week Senate Democrats hit back against Republicans:
“Senate Democrats, alongside representatives of teachers unions and advocates for children and the poor, said crime should be fought at the ‘front end,’ with job creation and sufficient funding for education.”
Their main message was that New Mexicans want a strong economy and education system and know that that’s the way to create healthy communities with lower crime rates, lower poverty, and better educational outcomes.
“Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, accused Martinez at the news conference of focusing on crime to divert attention from her ‘dismal, failed economic policies.’”
(Data shows that New Mexicans are much more concerned about jobs and schools than on criminalizing more people and growing our prison populations.)
And Senate Democrats have been fighting for better wages and better education during this entire legislative session (and long before): Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto is sponsoring a bill (SB 152) to provide an increase to the minimum wage for all school employees, as well as contracted transportation employees.
Last week, Sen. Ivey-Soto was joined by fellow Senators Michael Padilla, Bill Soules, Bill O’Neill, John Pinto, and John Sapien in passing the bill out of the Senate Education Committee.
Whether it’s that vote for better wages, the anniversary of Sen. Michael Sanchez sponsoring the lottery scholarship bill that has sent over 100,000 students to college, or that Senate Democrats Mimi Stewart, Jacob Candelaria, Cisco McSorley, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Bill O’Neill, and Daniel Ivey-Soto stood strong and killed the anti-worker “right to work” bill, there’s plenty to be thankful for.
Use the link the below to send a brief thank you note to your state senator.
Let them know you appreciate their work on behalf of working families.
Thank them for standing up to out-of-state corporate CEOs and their never-ending tax breaks.
Thank them for trying to reform our state government so it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.