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February 11, 2018

We are a few days away from completing the 30 day legislative session. There is still a lot of work we must accomplish, and I wanted to update you on what we are working on at the Roundhouse.

As you know, our district is an unusual one — split approximately evenly between Progressive Democrats and more traditional conservative voters. Many of you emailed me asking for action on net neutrality, immigration and social justice issues, and environmental protection, and I heard you loud and clear. Many of you also emailed me asking for action on economic issues, water rights and more socially conservative issues like parental consent.

As a citizen representative, my job is to represent all of you, and with a split district, that can be challenging, particularly during a legislative session was limited to bills related to budgetary items. Fortunately, there are opportunities during this session to work on environmental protection, economic opportunity, helping to undo the damage of the Republican tax bill, and to sponsor a bill that helps to solve the crisis of homeless animals in our state.


Over the course of the last few sessions including this current one, we heard multiple proposals to reinstate the food tax. I view this as one of the most regressive forms of taxation a state can impose on New Mexico families. As vice-chairman of Tax and Revenue Committee, I have been the single vote that has stopped the food tax.


In continuing to protect NM families, I sponsored House Bill 367 (HB367). The Republican Federal Tax Reform bill raises taxes on single parent households. HB367 allows these families to claim their exemptions on their state income tax returns, thus restoring about 30 million dollars to these often at-risk NM families. I expect HB 367 to make it through the legislature.


Renewable energy has always been a top priority for me. Every session, I have proposed tax credits for investments in renewable energy and sustainable building and I will keep doing this until we get this through. This year, I have two bills to increase tax credits for solar system installations and water conservation. HB 87 restores the 10% tax credit for roof-top solar to help incentivize renewable energy in NM. HB 238 is a bill to provide tax incentives for outdoor water conservation. At this time, HB 87 is set to be voted on by the full House.


I also co-sponsored SJM 17 which is a “Review FCC Net Neutrality Repeal.” I’m 100% with you that we need to protect Net Neutrality. It’s unlikely this bill will make it to the House floor given the constraints of the 30 day session, but you can count on my support for this issue in the next session.


Many of you know that animal protection is and always will be a top issue for me. Companion animals are a big part of our lives, and they deserve better than 70,000 homeless dogs and cats killed in our shelters every year. This is why I sponsored HB 64 would generate an estimated $700,000 annually through pet food retailers fees to fund statewide spay-neuter programs to stop this senseless killing. That means that low-income urban and rural New Mexicans would have access to 6,000-11,000 additional spay/neuter surgeries every year.


I also sponsored HB 159, which asks for additional funding for statewide domestic violence services.


I don’t have to tell most of you that our economy is still struggling. Too many of your young people are forced to move out of state to find good jobs. HB 200 is the high wage tax credit encourages employers in both urban and rural areas to create high wage jobs. HB 201 will attract outside investment to NM to help start-up companies, an important part of diversifying and modernizing our economy. Both bills have already made it through State House and are working their way through State Senate committees.


During years when our budget has a surplus, representatives are fortunate to be able to award capital outlay funding to improve community infrastructure and services. This year, I am proud to have given $243,000 thousand to six different acequias in the communities of Chimayo, Pojoaque, Nambe, El Rancho, and Rio en Medio. I joined my fellow Legislators in Santa Fe in providing resources to fund projects at the Palace of the Governors and New Mexico Museum of Art, $250,000 to Kitchen Angels who work to get meals on wheels to our seniors, and $250,000 project for NDI dance barns, which provide physical and dance activities at our local school districts and preserve our unique culture and heritage.


Despite the short session, we’re also the closest we have been in a long time to finally increasing teacher salaries and allow New Mexicans the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment to use a portion of the Permanent Fund to pay for early childhood education for all children.

Representing such a diverse district is definitely a challenge, and one that I welcome. I’m honored to have the privilege of representing you at the legislature and I remain committed to championing the causes that matter to you. My door is always open to hear your concerns and help however I can.

I’m hosting another town hall on Thursday, February 15th at 6:00 p.m. at Pojoaque Middle School Frank B. Lopez Gym. I invite you to attend, hear an update on the legislative session and local easement issues, and share your thoughts. If you can’t make it out on Thursday, please email me to tell me what you think!


Rep. Carl Trujillo

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