Javier Gonzales: House speaker showed true leadership
I read with great interest your March 18th column on Speaker Ken Martinez and believe it warrants a response.
You are right to underscore the speaker’s commitment to respecting the integrity of the committee process during the 60-day legislative session. Both the House and Senate committees have been working diligently this session to draft and shape comprehensive tax policy for New Mexico. Their work, which was debated in committee, was included in the final tax bill passed moments before the legislative session ended.
This sweeping legislation passed both chambers with
overwhelming bipartisan support, and to mire this achievement with a
game of she-said, he-said politics about keeping time in the final
seconds of the legislative session cheapens what has truly been
Our legislators often don’t agree on much but this past Saturday they did agree that something needed to be done to jumpstart our economy. Our economy is stagnant, and we must not only create jobs but also institute comprehensive tax reform that makes New Mexico competitive with surrounding states while also holding corporations accountable to our state by paying their fair share of taxes with a combined reporting system.
Furthermore, thousands of New Mexicans will
find employment in our state’s film industry with the expansion of the film production credit from 25 percent to 35 percent -- a measure that was vetoed by the governor the day before but was revived with the passage of this tax
bill. (Actually, the bill establishes a ceiling of 30 perent on TV series. -- Editor)
Speaker Martinez showed true leadership in shepherding not only the tax bill through the legislative process but so many other initiatives that benefit working New Mexicans including: an increase to the statewide minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50; a $224 million Work New Mexico Act that will provide thousands of New Mexicans work in shovel ready construction jobs; instituting pay equity for women; and the Spaceport limited liability compromise which puts New Mexico back in business in the space tourism industry.
There was no doubt that the stakes were high this session. Time was running out and pressure mounted but the speaker never wavered. Contrary to what you reported, evil politics and bad government didn’t prevail.
In adherence to House rules, the
legislative process was upheld throughout the session, and the true
winners are New Mexico taxpayers who expect more from our government
than name-calling and stalling tactics. They want real results and the speaker and our Democratic Legislature delivered numerous unprecedented
accomplishments in spades.