Policy Priorities

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2022 Policy Agenda Priorities are presented in alphabetical order by Committees.

Agriculture & Food Processing


• Seed standardization legislation to ensure the consistent statewide regulation of
• Reinstating the requirement that the New Mexico Department of Transportation erect
and maintain fencing along state highways to prevent livestock from entering our
public highways;
• The establishment of incentives for voluntary and economically sustainable
agriculture practices;
• Maintaining the integrity of predator control measures on both public and private
• Addressing the feral/wild horse population in New Mexico and the New Mexico
Livestock Board having jurisdiction to address the problem;
• Protecting the integrity of agriculture land valuation as currently exists in statute;
• Development of new visa and foreign worker programs that are more efficient than
the existing H-2A program;
• Preserving the integrity of the workers’ compensation system to ensure quick and
efficient delivery of benefits to injured workers, to maximize medical rehabilitation and
return-to-work outcomes at a fair cost to the employers, which will also foster business
investment and job creation;
• Legislation requiring that all imported, processed foods, ready for consumption, meet
the same standards as identified by the FDA for domestic processors;
• Maintaining funding for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture;
• Funding for New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer, and
Environmental Sciences (ACES), and the agricultural science centers;
• Revising or eliminating regulations, both federal and state, that are not based on sound,
objectively verifiable, scientific evidence;
• Responsible use and management of our lands, including working forests that support
and grow industries including farming & ranching, hunting & outfitting, timber harvest &
energy transmission;
• Efforts to protect watersheds and reduce wildfire risk by thinning overstocked stands,
clearing away vegetation and trees to create shaded fuel breaks and increase wildlife
habitat, increasing livestock grazing opportunities, providing funding and guidance to
reduce or eliminate hazardous fuels in forested lands of New Mexico;
• Existing statutory framework which prevents public trespass in streambeds located
on private property;
• The existence, preservation, and promotion of a healthy hunting, fishing and outfitting
industry; and,
• Assistance from the state of New Mexico in addressing the newly discovered PFAS
(Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) groundwater contamination issue with the
appropriate federal agencies;

Economic Development & Technology


• A substantial budget for the New Mexico Economic Development Department;
• Full and increased investment in strategic economic development programs such as
JTIP, LEDA, and the Rapid Workforce Development fund, as well as enhancing the
tools available, to incentivize business investment, and job creation;
• Full and increased investment for the New Mexico Partnership, local economic
development organizations, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, and
the New Mexico Tourism Department, for marketing and promotional activities;
• Opening the Angel Investment Tax Credit to out-of-state investors to increase the
diversity pool of potential investors;
• Incentivizing individuals to invest in a new or existing New Mexico company;
• Coordinated initiatives and legislative actions for broadband infrastructure and access
and beneficial tax policies, NMCC representation on state broadband advisory
committees, increased DOIT technical and new grant writing staff, continuing follow-up
actions on contractor reports, and active exploration for the adoption of new
technologies such as low orbit satellites;
• Legislation for public-private partnerships in fiber-optic broadband infrastructure for rural
and frontier New Mexico to aid telehealth, education, and economic development;
• Legislation reducing financial, regulatory, and other barriers to facilitate the deployment
of broadband equipment, 5G, advanced networks, as well as right of way, shared utility
poles, trenching, and other actions;
• New Mexico’s continued application for all available and relevant federal government
funds and grants for broadband;
• Implementation of the local, state, and federal procurement codes in a consistent,
efficient and transparent manner that allows companies in New Mexico to effectively
compete in the procurement process;
• Proactive investments in robust infrastructure programs that are essential for economic
growth and prosperity including roads and highways, rail, water, sewer, power, natural
gas, and advanced telecommunications;
• Incentivizing New Mexico’s National Laboratories to create and continue community
projects throughout the state, particularly those focused on technology transfer;
• Creation of an Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit;
• Entrepreneurial mindset training as a component of the mandatory training for
individuals drawing unemployment through the Department of Workforce Solutions;
• The creation of a research grants closing fund to help Universities and Colleges apply
for and win proposals for research grants;
• Investments in Spaceport America infrastructure to attract new business to Southern NM;
• Expanding the New Mexico Retiree Attraction marketing program as an economic
development diversification initiative;
• A sustainable process by which the state supports public-private investments to drive
economic development; and,
• Infusing money into NMPartnership for overseas country representation and marketing
to companies looking to on-shore or near-shore;

Education & Workforce Development


• Providing support to the pre-K-20 education system to address issues related to the
COVID-19 Pandemic;
  – Cooperative engagement between the Legislature and the Governor’s office
to reach a consensus on priorities for disbursement of Federal Pandemic
  – Prioritizing educational funding, realizing that more than 50% of the State’s
budget is dedicated to education. Special funding appropriations approved during
the 2021 Legislative Session should be closely examined for optional funding
mechanisms or timing changes, including such concepts as the Early Childhood
Education and Care Fund, teacher raises, and K-5-Plus deployment;
  – Equalized funding and continued accountability across the public education
sector, including charter schools;
  – Implementing new and/or existing programming for students that provides
flexibility for distance learning;
  – Developing and rapidly implementing special programs to provide distance
learning professional development to teachers and administrators;
  – Developing a public-private partnership between PED/HED and
telecommunication providers in New Mexico, supported by state investments, to
bring affordable broadband capacity to every region of the state. Regulatory
hurdles that are preventing that build-out should be removed. The COVID-19
Pandemic exposed significant disparities that exist with respect to distance
learning opportunities for rural New Mexico, Native American Tribes, and
Pueblos, as well as some disadvantaged urban communities;
• Sustaining current Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and existing
collaborations between PED, Community and Branch Colleges, the State’s Workforce
Boards and private sector industries targeted by Economic Development;
  – Ongoing workforce analysis to determine the number and level of skills needed
for current employers, as well as those needed for future economic development,
and widely disseminating this information;
• Quality childcare and education programs that are focused on a child’s success in
school, measure child outcomes and encourage continued training opportunities and
other initiatives to retain staff in early childhood settings;
• Efforts to ensure fiscal and program accountability at all levels for state-funded
programs, from early childhood through higher education, rooted in student outcomes;
• A statewide plan that identifies and provides leadership training for school
administrators, including principals and superintendents, that includes best practices
from business and education, including the criteria identified in the Baldrige
Excellence Framework for education;
• Legislation to aid charter schools in obtaining funds for facilities;
• Increased aid for students studying in high demand fields such as STEM, skilled trades,
and healthcare at New Mexico higher education institutions;
  – Coordinated high school and college workforce development programs that
address New Mexico’s needs such as STEM, skilled trades, healthcare, job
search and soft skills;
• Legislation supporting the new Early Childhood Trust Fund, including ensuring the
fund is not dismantled and looking for additional opportunities to grow the fund;
• The implementation of systems that allow for the transparent reporting of education
funding at the school level;
• Improved pathways for educators to advance in their licensure based on
demonstrated classroom performance and outcomes;
• Educational initiatives that contribute to increasing the overall educational attainment of
New Mexico’s populace, including more efficient transfer between institutions and
increased access to alternative educational pathways;
  – Creative and innovative efforts to reduce school dropout rate and alternative
ways to assess the effectiveness of schools that are created to serve
• A sustainable plan for the lottery scholarship to maximize the state’s return on
• A cooperative business-education employability skills program at the high school
• Development of a teacher evaluation based on measurable student achievement
and a policy that encourages continued training opportunities for teachers; and,
• Statewide Assessments in the Fall of 2021 to develop new baseline.

Energy and Extractive Industries


• Policies that provide for the commercially viable development of energy
• Creation of stable and predictable financing and financing opportunities that allow
energy companies to fund a move to clean and renewable energy generation
sources and to prioritize long-term energy solutions that are affordable and
considerate of New Mexico’s fiscal environment;
• Standards or regulations, both on the state and federal level, that are based upon
objectively verifiable and widely accepted science, and that are commercially viable
and encourage innovation, job creation, job retention, economic development, and
emerging technologies;
• Continued growth of New Mexico’s energy and extractive industries through reasonable
government policies, regulations and practices that are commercially viable, predictable,
and time-sensitive, that encourage private capital investment in New Mexico, and that
result in private sector job creation;
• The development of promising new or continuing mineral extraction or production
projects involving deposits of copper, lithium, cobalt, gold, silver, potash, dolomite,
magnesium, zeolite, coal, humate, uranium, rare earth elements, critical minerals
important for energy transition and high tech industries, and other precious, specialty,
and industrial minerals, as well as shale resources, all of which hold significant potential
for bringing jobs and economic development to rural parts of New Mexico;
• Incentivizing the recycling and reuse of produced or otherwise available water,
encouraging research and investment in water treatment technologies, and removing
legal impediments to such activities;
• State level management of natural resources, including water and minerals, rather
than local level government regulation, which could be used to restrict or preclude
development, to the detriment of the state and its citizens;
• Developing infrastructure for facilitating the goals and requirements of the Energy
Transition Act and other renewable energy drivers, including but not limited to wind,
solar and other renewable energy generation facilities and transmission lines to
move the energy to markets both inside and outside New Mexico;
• The development of clean energy resources, such as wind and solar, and new
technology like battery storage, which will allow the state to benefit from the
economic development opportunities that come from hosting these projects;
• Discussions of methane-related rulemaking efforts that include input from the oil and
gas industry; and,
• Encouragement of New Mexico’s unique ability to contribute to, and benefit from, the
nuclear fuel cycle through uranium mining and enrichment, research lab support,
and transmission and consumption of nuclear energy as a zero GHG emitting
alternative power generation source.

Environment, Water & Land Use


• Reforming regulatory and administrative processes to eliminate delays in permit
processing and to promote consistent, reasonable, and predictable processes including
policy development, permitting, enforcement and compliance procedures;
• Placing a reasonable limit on fines and penalties that state or local governments
may assess without court action;
• Ensuring state regulation of natural resources, including water and minerals, rather than
regulation by local governments, which could be used to restrict or preclude
development, to the detriment of the State;
• Ensuring public lands remain available to support a healthy forest products industry
consistent with multiple use policies, reasonable protections for endangered species
and critical habitat, and fire management initiatives promoting healthy forests and
• Efforts to identify recurring funding for forest and watershed restoration;
• Evaluating relief measures for industry in Dona Ana, County, given ozone NAAQS nonattainment designation due to pollution transport from neighboring regions such as El
Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, and in Lea, Eddy, and San Juan Counties, given
elevated ozone levels;
• The 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule that reflects the limits of the Clean Water
Act and recognizes the unique conditions in the arid West;
• The creation of public-private partnerships to develop water infrastructure that will
provide public benefits, such as economical infrastructure project delivery and water
• Incentivizing the recycling and reuse of produced or otherwise available water,
encouraging research and investment in water treatment technologies, and removing
legal impediments to such activities;
• Ensuring the state and regional water plans are current and are updated with strong
involvement from the business community;
• A regulatory structure that encourages the development of new water sources and the
infrastructure to support those sources;
• Allowing the transfer of water across major basin boundaries when it meets the
conditions promulgated by the (OSE);
• Consideration of the negative economic impact of new land use and land use planning,
and regulations on the landowner, municipality, or on business operations;
• Refining policies to provide clarity in the Office of State Engineer’s application of its
administrative procedures;
• Active Water Resource Management (AWRM) rules that exclusively includes limited
measures necessary to protect senior water rights and compact delivery
• Existing statutory framework that prevents public trespass in streambeds located on
private property; and,
• Assistance from the state in addressing any and all PFAS groundwater
contamination issues with the appropriate federal agencies.



• Implementation or enhancement of sustainable, evidence-based programs to:
  – Ensure the appropriate utilization of the state’s limited healthcare resources to
achieve optimal cost-effective and health outcomes;
  – Maximize access to healthcare coverage for all New Mexicans,
  – Promote appropriate medication use; and
  – Continue to develop competitive and affordable healthcare coverage options
that maintain or enhance a robust commercial market for individuals and
• Identification and implementation of solutions to recruit, retain, and sustain an
adequate healthcare provider workforce to meet the healthcare needs of New
Mexicans now and in the future;
• Maximization of federal funding to support the state’s Medicaid program, Medicaid
Supplemental Payment Program, and hospital supplemental payments that support access to care, especially in rural areas, through mechanism that do not add or increase taxes;
• Minimization of adverse premium cost impacts by prioritizing, and investing in
effective care coordination, value-based purchasing solutions, and other measures
to address social determinants of health and wellness;
• Continued improvements to Centennial Care that ensure cost efficiency with
sustainable provider funding and re-aligned incentives;
• Promotion of cost-efficient and outcome-based healthcare that serves the holistic
needs of the individual and improves the public health of communities;
• Initiatives to promote the appropriate prescription and use of opioids and other
controlled substances to decrease the risks of dependency and overdose through a
multi-disciplinary clinical approach that includes the use of non-discriminative and
publicly accessible evidence-based, medically appropriate forms of pain management;
• Transparency in healthcare that facilitates greater accessibility and the coordination
of data (in a secure manner) while streamlining reporting without duplication of
federal or state reporting that is already required and interference into industry’s
ability to enter into privately negotiated contracts.
• A full review of COVID-19 pandemic response, including the New Mexico
Department of Health All-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan as well as public/private partnerships and stakeholders formed as a result, in order to prepare both for
any future public health emergencies and to apply lessons to other New Mexico
health conditions;
• Investments in public health infrastructure including IT capabilities, testing,
treatment, laboratory services, especially in underserved communities to support
impoverished and vulnerable populations;
• Utilizing CARES Act and other federal funding (ARPA) to support the stability and
growth of providers and medical facilities through workforce investment,
reimbursement, and other infrastructure investments; and,
• Robust investment in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations. In addition,
support investments to increase capacity, support and enhance COVID-19 testing and
vaccinations in underserved and impoverished communities to serve vulnerable populations and to reduce disparities within these communities.



• Eliminating or significantly reducing GRT pyramiding for businesses by eliminating GRT
for professional services used by businesses such as: Human Resources, payroll,
accounting/bookkeeping, legal, temporary staffing, engineering/draftsman, and
Information Technology;
• Moving from a tax-credit to a deduction for manufacturing equipment purchased or
brought into the state;
• Attracting re-shoring and near-shoring opportunities by waiving GRT or compensating
tax for new businesses building infrastructure in NM;
• Encouraging remote workers by waiving the corporate income tax nexus for out of state
companies with no physical presence but who employ remote workers in New Mexico;
• A stable revenue system without a disproportionate burden on particular industries,
individuals, or employers and in conjunction with a statewide economic development
plan; and,
• Expansion of the single sales factor in the multi-state tax apportionment formula for
corporate income tax.

Workplace, Legal & Government Accountability