Monday, February 17, 2020

Posted On February 17, 2020

1. REPUBLICANS FIGHT MASSIVE HEALTH TAX INCREASE PROPOSAL

Progressive Democrats can’t get enough of those tax increases. This weekend  House Democrats passed HB 278, the Health Insurance Tax & New Fund bill. This legislation will create a 300% tax increase on New Mexico health insurance premiums. This bill  comes after the federal government reduced insurance premium costs. Sponsors say that New Mexico should divert the federal tax cut from the pockets of New Mexicans and use it to bolster the already overspent state budget and create an ambiguous and secretive health fund. More pains for hard-working New Mexicans.
“While you were spending Sunday with your families, House Democrats stole your Federal tax break,” said House Minority Whip Rod Montoya (R)-Farmington. “The Federal Government gave all insurance premium payers a break on their health insurance premiums. “Rep. Deborah Armstrong and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham have decided to intercept your refund to pay for their bloated budget and to start an undefined health fund. The Democrats had to pass the bill for New Mexicans to find out what was in it. Sound familiar?”

The Health Insurance Tax passed the House on a partisan vote of 41-25. The bill now heads over to the Senate.

CALL TO ACTION:   Contact Majority Leader Peter Wirth at (505) 986-4727 or President Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen at (505) 986-4733 and tell them to stop this taxation. And  Call your Senator and say NO to more taxes!

2. LEFT-LEANING DEMOCRATS PUSH THROUGH ADMINISTRATION’S PRC
POWER GRAB

The Governor is one step closer to unconstitutionally stripping the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission of its ability to protect utility rate payers. The House this weekend passed HB 11 which reorganizes the PRC and provides the Governor with veto power in appointing the elected body’s Chief of Staff. Currently the PRC is an elected body in New Mexico and has recently been the subject of a lawsuit from Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration based on differing views on the implementation of the New Mexico Green New Deal otherwise known as the ETA.

“From what I have heard from my community, I do not believe that this bill will protect utility rate payers in New Mexico,” said Rep. Larry Scott (R-Hobbs). “This bill moves power to the executive branch and that stands contrary to the protections provided by our State Constitution. The PRC was created to protect New Mexicans from partisan politics, and this is simply bad governance.”

HB 11 passed 36-34. The legislation will now be introduced in the Senate.

CALL TO ACTION:  Stop this power grab by the Lujan Grisham Administration–it could save your utility rates from rising. Call your Senator!

3. HOUSE PASSES ELECTION BILL THAT WOULD LEAD TO ABSENTEE
VOTER PROBLEMS

There’s still time to stop a bill that will cause all kinds of absentee voting violations and fraud. This weekend the House approved HB 229, legislation that would eliminate the need for three forms of voter identification for absentee ballots. Right now that’s the law—-you must have your name, address and year of birth on the ballot. If this bill becomes law, it will lead to absentee voting chaos and all kinds of problems. No ID requirements. The bill heads to the Senate now.

CALL TO ACTION: We must keep our elections fair. Contact these Senators:

Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (505) 986-4270 daniel.ivey-soto@nmlegis.gov
Sen. George Munoz (505) 986-4371 senatormunoz@gmail.com
Sen. Clemente Sanchez (505) 986-4513 clemente.sanchez@nmlegis.gov
Sen. John Arthur Smith (505) 986-4365 john.smith@nmlegis.gov
Sen. Gabriel Ramos (505) 986-4863 gabriel.ramos@nmlegis.gov and your local Senators.

Take a look at a section of HB229 where the requirements are crossed out.

4. HOUSE REPUBLICANS EXHORT GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM TO ACT ON TAX
BREAK FOR SENIORS

The entire House Republican caucus has signed and delivered a letter to Gov. Lujan Grisham, asking her to act on a tabled bill that would have given a social security tax break to seniors. This state tax has stained New Mexico as a state unfriendly to retirees. HB 29 was killed recently in the Taxation and Revenue Committee.

“I am ready and willing, along with all House Republicans, to help get this bill to the Governor’s desk. I hear from my friends and neighbors in my community how much this tax impacts their quality of life. Sometimes Santa Fe politics get in the way of boots-on-the-ground compassion,” said Rep. Gail Armstrong. “The Governor has a chance to make a statement that New Mexico is all in, in terms of supporting the many retirees in our state who receive Social Security. Our retirees should not have to wait another year for the repeal of this unfair tax.”

In their letter to the Governor, House Republicans suggest she use her executive line-item veto authority to make room in the budget to deliver this tax relief.

CALL TO ACTION: Let’s give our retirees much needed tax relief. Call the Governor and demand she help our seniors!
Call the governor: (505) 476-2200 or contact her.

Here’s the letter:

Rep. Zachary Cook, an attorney,  lives in Ruidoso and represents Lincoln and Otero Counties. Rep. Cook has been in the House since 2009.

Committees: Health and Human Services, Judiciary, Rules and Order of Business
Email:  zachary.cook@nmlegis.gov

Sen. Gregory Baca lives in Belen and represents Bernalillo and Valencia Counties.

Committees: Judiciary, Rules
Email: greg.baca@nmlegis.gov

The House will reconvene today at 10:30am. The Senate will reconvene at 11am.
For more information about bills, lawmakers and happenings at the Roundhouse,
go to the
 New Mexico Legislature website.

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