PORTALES (KSEL)- This year for the first time in many years the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce board has passed a list of legislative priorities for the session.
The Roosevelt Chamber Supports:
- Budget increase of no more than 6.5 percent as proposed by the Legislative Finance Committee
- State Reserves at a minimum of 25 percent
- A sustainable form of LFC’s financial aid package for higher education
- Pay increases of 3 percent for teachers and support staff
- LFC’s budget recommendations for Public Education and Higher Education
- Adequate funding of economic development initiatives, specifically JTIP and LEDA funds.
- Bailout/reform of public employee retirement funds without increasing employee contribution amounts.
- Expedited professional licensure for military family members
- Changes in board for Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority recognizing new makeup of participants.
- Funding requests proposed by ENMRWA
- Removal of income taxes on Social Security and military retirement income.
- Increasing funding for roads and infrastructure within the parameters of new money available after education is adequately funded.
- Association of Counties requests for reimbursing counties for the cost of housing and transporting state prisoners in local detention centers as well as their requests for funding EMS, Law Enforcement Protection Fund and Behavioral Health Services.
- Capital Outlay requests and priorities for City of Portales, Roosevelt County ENMU, Roosevelt General Hospital and local public schools.
The Chamber Opposes:
- Executive budget increase proposal of 8.4 percent
- Early Childhood Department budget of $74 million
- Establishment of Early Childhood Trust Fund in this session while further study of the structure and needs of this program is made.
- So-called “red flag” legislation
- Legalizing recreational marijuana
- Late-term abortion
- Governor’s proposal to increase the State Police budget by $164 million as a solution to crime in urban areas
- Further increases in the state minimum wage
- Any effort to tap the Permanent Fund or change its payout above current levels.
- Governor’s proposed Opportunity Scholarship
- Pay increases for state workers