KRWG

More Fuel Needed for the Education Moonshot to be Successful

Feb 11, 2019

  Commentary: The Rockets [proposed budgets] Built for the “Education Moonshot” Need Fuel [sufficient, diverse and sustainable revenue] to Power the Flight All the Way to the Moon [Student Success]!  

We commend both the legislative Finance Committee and the Governor’s office for proposing statewide budgets to significantly increase supports for student success.  Though the budgets fall far short of what is needed for the platform of Yazzie/Martinez plaintiffs, legislators and the administration claim this year’s increases are only the first steps toward future years of additional support to finally sufficiently fund our public schools.  

 

Critics say there is simply not enough money (in this year with a budget surplus of about $1 billion) to sufficiently fund the schools to support a true Education Transformation.  We disagree, but we do agree with all who say new and stable revenue is needed to be sure the valuable initiatives included in their budgets are sustainable in future years.  

The House Taxation & Revenue Committee is putting together a comprehensive tax package, so it’s a great time for the public to let them know of your request that they support student success with diverse, sustainable revenues to fuel the rocket flights for the Education Moonshot.  There can be no true Education Transformation without the revenue to sustain it!

At least $300 million in new revenue must be raised to sustain the so-called “Education Moonshot,” therefore all the following measures must be passed (separately or via a “comprehensive” or “omnibus” tax bill)!

·       On the wealthiest New Mexicans, raise the Personal Income Tax (HB 365 Miguel P. Garcia, sponsor and HB 335Daymon Ely, sponsor and SB 98, Senator Bill B. O'Neill, sponsor).

·       Level the playing field between local New Mexico businesses and the big international corporations that more and more dominate our economy by eliminating the sales tax exemption on internet sales (SB 6, Senate Leader Peter Wirth), and also by…

·       eliminating a tax loophole through a policy known as “combined reporting” (SB 335, Senate Leader Peter Wirth and Representative Melanie A. Stansbury, sponsors)

·       Motor Vehicle Excise Fee increases.

House Taxation and Revenue Committee members (Click for phone and email contact information):

Even if you don’t mention all the specifics, please encourage the legislators to support proposals to raise at least $300 million in new revenue!

Chair Jim R. TrujilloJavier MartínezAbbas AkhilChristine ChandlerBrian EgolfDoreen Y. GallegosJason C. Harper,Susan K. HerreraTim D. LewisAntonio MaestasRod MontoyaLarry R. Scott,  James R.J. Strickler.

 

House and Senate Leaders also need to be “on-board” so contacting them is also very useful. House Speaker Brian Egolf, and House Majority Whip Doreen Y. Gallegos are both leaders and also on the Tax and Revenue Committee. House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, and House Caucus Chair Doreen Y. Gallegos should also be asked for their support for all these measures.

 

Senate leadership to urge their support for all the revenue measures: Senate President Pro-TemporeMary Kay Papen, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, and Senate Whip Mimi Stewart.

 

NEA-New Mexico does support HB 18 (Sponsors: Micaela Lara Cadena and Christine Chandler),  though it would reduce state revenue.  It is targeted to support working families who send their children to our schools, and poverty has a direct impact on the success of students.  This bill would nullify the impact on our state tax policies of the Trump tax give aware to the rich which forced that tax increase on working New Mexico families.  The Trump tax give away to the rich stuck New Mexico’s working families with children with a tax increase of $50 million!