Our current policies are failing us and a new direction is needed. The Legislature and the executive together must act boldly, and quickly, to meet the economic challenges New Mexico faces. The lack of jobs is driving the ongoing budget crisis, too.
• Broadband expansion: We will pass legislation to significantly increase broadband access across New Mexico. Investments in broadband can have real impact on jobs and business growth, especially in rural communities. Expanding access to broadband technology is a proven method to encourage more jobs.
• Capital outlay for needed infrastructure: Infrastructure projects create jobs in communities starting right away, when done correctly. The Senate intends to pass a $63 million package of spending projects for state-wide infrastructure repairs and improvements.
• Minimum wage increase: New Mexico suffers with some of the lowest median wages in the country. Working people really need a livable wage. Rising wages lift all boats, creating more demand for goods and services, and spurring more economic activity.
We will pass a pay raise for the lowest-paid workers. Whether it is a larger or smaller increase, a minimum wage increase is long overdue and workers have waited long enough.
• Industrial hemp research: Changes to federal law cleared the way for states and universities to cultivate hemp for research purposes. It has thousands of commercial uses, from rope to biofuels. There is strong bipartisan support for laying the foundation for a new industry that will create thousands of jobs and bring investment.
Sierra County citizens interested in commenting on the proposal on should contact their elected officials: