News from the Session: Highlights from the 2013 Legislative Session
Last week was the half way point of the 2013 legislative session. With the introduction of more than 1300 Bills, 200 Memorials and 20 Joint Resolutions, lot's of work remains to be done. Here are some highlights.
Water, water, water
No issue is more important to New Mexico's future than water. The severe drought, a pending lawsuit in the US Supreme Court filed by Texas against New Mexico, projections of zero water delivery from the Rio Grande to farmers south of Elephant Butte, climate change, endangered species. The list of challenges goes on and on.
Bills to fund water planning, expedite adjudications, encourage conservation are all on the table. I have introduced SB 479 and SB 480 to limit the use of domestic wells in new subdivisions and SB 482 to fund a study identifying water supply and demand challenges facing New Mexico over the next twenty years.
One thing is certain, as Chair of the Senate Conservation Committee, I plan to elevate the water discussion and proactively work with my colleagues to look for solutions.
Tax ReformFor nine years, I have pushed a bill to close a tax loophole that lets multi-state businesses avoid paying their fair share of New Mexico's corporate tax. We are the last western state with a corporate tax that allows this loophole. This year may finally be the time to end this practice.
Senate Bill 13 requires these out-of-state companies to file a combined return. The share of a company's profit attributable to New Mexico would be taxed. Passing this legislation broadens the tax base which would allow for some reduction in the corporate tax rate.
Super PAC Disclosure
Massive contributions from corporations and unions have dramatically changed the campaign landscape. So called Super PACs now spend unlimited money on elections following the Supreme Court's misguided decision in Citizens United.
One thing we can do is require disclosure of donors. Senate Bill 15 requires this disclosure and makes clear that these entities cannot coordinate with political candidates or parties. This legislation unanimously passed the Rules committee and is moving through the Legislature.
You can find all of the Bills, Memorials and Joint Resolutions on the New Mexico Legislature's web page: www.nmlegis.gov. It also is the place to find dates for committee hearings and listen to live webcasting.
Please come to the Capitol and make your voice heard. Your input makes a real difference.
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