This week the Legislature wrapped up another ineffective, corporate-controlled legislative session. Unfortunately, in our state, lobbyists get the final say.
In a “gift” to the fireworks lobby, the legislature decided to table a common sense solution to a real problem that faces our friends and neighbors — the Senate Corporations and Finance Committee voted to table a bill, SB 5, that would restrict sales of fireworks during times of drought.
In June of last year the largest wildfire in New Mexico history blazed through more than 244 square miles. Yet, instead of protecting the community first, the legislature catered to the business concerns of the fireworks lobby.
Fireworks lobbyists were not alone in successfully driving the legislative agenda. Banking and big oil & gas corporate lobbyists can claim victory in the debate over SB 9 — a bill that aimed to eliminate the corporate tax loophole out-of-state corporations receive at the expense of families, local businesses, and working people in our communities.
Although an amended bill passed which addressed part of the issue (big-box stores like Wal-mart no longer can use the tax exemption), lobbyists for corporations like Conoco-Phillips, Wells Fargo, and McDonald’s were able to keep their corporate clients’ interests and pocketbooks safe at the expense of working people and local businesses in our communities.
One positive development out of this session was the passage of an anti-corruption bill. However, once again the legislature did not completely resolve the issue. A more stringent measure that sought to hold employees as well as legislators accountable for corruption did not pass.
Now is our time to take our government back from corporate interests and give it back to our community. Join us in our Campaign for Change and let’s make a difference for New Mexico!