Dreams of Jobs Flying Away With Governor’s Veto of Regional Air Center Bill

Mar 8, 2018

Credit State Senator Cliff Pirtle (R- Roswell)

Commentary: State Senator Cliff Pirtle (R- Roswell)  said the governor’s veto today of an economic development bill for Roswell and Southern New Mexico is a missed opportunity to create jobs at one of the brightest  gems in Southeastern New Mexico, at the Roswell Industrial Air Center.  Senator Pirtle said the legislature fully supported the prospect of creating good paying jobs in Southeastern New Mexico and the governor crushed that chance with her veto pen.

The bill the governor vetoed today, HB 197 c/s passed both chambers and is a mirror  of a bill  Senator Pirtle and Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle sponsored, SB 180- Regional Air Center Special Economic District, which was not necessary to pass since the house version passed and was set to the governor.

The bill would have created a special economic district which would have more stability compared to the current system of operating the Roswell Industrial Air Center. Senator Pirtle said more stability would help  bring industry and business to the Air Center, known formally as the Walker Air Force Base, and turn it into a thriving industrial park for commercial businesses, research and industries.

Senator Pirtle said that even in her veto message the governor acknowledged that “Roswell and the former Walker Air Force Base have great economic potential.”  Senator Pirtle said that her apparent disliking of some aspects of the bill will mean there will be a delay of creating a booming industrial park after being so close to getting the job done with the passage of HB 197 c/s.  “We were there, we were in a position to create great paying jobs at the gem of Southeastern New Mexico, the Roswell Industrial Air Center. But the governor blew our dreams away today.  This veto does not make any sense to me and it won’t make sense to Southeastern New Mexico that was all set to get the bulldozers rolling at a prosperous industrial park. This hurts. The veto created a delay that was not necessary,” Senator Pirtle said.