After two years of meeting, the bi-partisan New Mexico Jobs Council can agree that spending $74 million on jobs is a good idea.
But the issue that keeps popping up this year, right-to-work, isn’t something that the council can agree on.
At Monday’s NAIOP luncheon, outgoing Speaker of the House Ken Martinez and incoming Speaker of the House Don Tripp made it clear that they are on different pages when it comes to right-to-work.
At Monday’s NAIOP luncheon, outgoing Speaker of the House Ken Martinez and incoming Speaker of the House Don Tripp (pictured) made it clear that they are on different pages when it comes to right-to-work.
“The first way to train wreck this council is to get into political issues. Right-to-work is one. But it’s not a factor of production, and it’s not stopping growth,” Martinez said. “What’s important is to focus on what we agree on and pick our fights carefully.”
“Most of my caucus is in favor of it,” Tripp said. “We would like to pass a right-to-work bill in the legislature.”
Right-to-work legislation prohibits employers from requiring employees to join unions or pay union dues as a condition of employment or promotion.
“We want to see more bills come to the floor. If a vote was called [in the Senate], I’m sure it was pass. We’re trying to put that thing to a vote,” Tripp said.
Though Senate Floor Leader Michael Sanchez has said he doesn’t support right-to-work, which raised questions about whether Sanchez would prevent right-to-work bills from going to a vote there, Tripp said there are other ways to get a bill to the floor.
Regardless, the two said, the jobs council has made significant progress on discovering ways to fund job-creation efforts. The council is not making any policy recommendations; instead, it’s focusing on a $74 million shopping list of appropriations to create 16,000 jobs annually for the next 10 years.
The funds include the $50 million Local Economic Development Act funds, as well as $500,000 for the New Mexico Partnership and much more.
Tripp said he would like to see the funds be recurring.
“We all share the vision that we’d like to do better for New Mexico, and that hinges on jobs,” Tripp said.
By: Dan Mayfield (Albuquerque Business First)
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